More than 851 days after he was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police while heading to the Hathras home of a young Dalit woman who was killed and gang-raped by upper-caste Hindu men, Kerala Muslim journalist Siddique Kappan walks out of jail.
These two years were very tough, but I was never afraid,” Kappan told reporters after his release from the Lucknow jail.
“I have come out of jail after 28 months. I want to thank the media for supporting me. False allegations were put against me. I am happy to be out now,” he said.
Kappan was accused of sedition and charged under the draconian law UAPA. In February 2022, the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against him.
Kappan was granted bail on December 24, 2022, by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in the money laundering case. He was granted bail in the UAPA case in September last year.
“They kept me in jail even after I got bail… ” Kappan said.
International and national rights groups, Opposition parties in India, and civil society groups have condemned Kappan’s arrest as motivated by the Uttar Pradesh government’s efforts to avoid coverage over the caste-based killing in Hathras.