Wednesday, April 24, 2024

“Fake News”: Raihana Kappan files complaint against right-wing portal Karma News

UAPA accused journalist Siddique Kappan and wife Raihana Kappan. Photo: Shakeeb KPA/Maktoob

Raihana Kappan, who spread-headed the campaign for the release of her husband journalist Siddique Kappan from jail, filed a police complaint against right-wing news portal Karma News for targeting her by publishing a “fake news”.

The Complaint in Malayalam, accessed by Maktoob, alleged that the video published by Karma News on February 11, defames Kappan’s family and incites communal riots.

The three-minute thirty-three-second video has more than 76,000 views. The channel, infamous for hatemongering, claims a post by a Facebook user tagging Raihana Kappan and twelve others called for the assassination of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Maktoob couldn’t find the alleged post on any of the accounts named by Karma News. The content in the screenshot used by Karma News is a broken sentence.

However, the comments below the video report explicitly call for sexual violence and physical harm against Raihanath and her family.

“All the claims made by the video are 100% fake and neither I nor anyone who tagged me on social media has posted such comments,” Raihana Kappan said in the complaint.

“Such fake news about me and my family is taking a toll on security and the mental health of our children,” she said.

Last year, Siddique Kappan was released from Uttar Pradesh prison more than two years after his arrest under terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) — while travelling to report on an alleged rape and death of a Dalit girl in Hathras. The arrest made headlines worldwide as critics flagged it as a crackdown on press freedom.

Raihana Kappan gained attention as she became the face of the campaign that lobbied for the release of Siddique Kappan and other political prisoners.

She told Maktoob that this was a malicious attempt to cancel the bail for her husband.

The right-wing sympathetic channel is already facing a defamation lawsuit filed by the online portal Newslaundry in the Delhi High Court. The channel also faces allegations of extortion and blackmail.

The mother of three said that even though the complaint was filed at Vengara Police Station on February 11, no action has been initiated. According to Raihana’s letter to Malappuram’s Superintendent of Police (SP), local cops said they couldn’t take any action and asked her to move to court.

According to the Karma News website, Vince Mathew is the founder, Managing Director and Chief Editor of Karma News. The website says its head office is in Australia and has an office in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram.


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