Siddique Kappan was supposed to walk out the jail last evening, but he was unable to do so because the judge of a special court that hears money laundering cases was preoccupied with a bar council election.
Lucknow: Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan who was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the Uttar Pradesh government, today walked of the Uttar Pradesh jail nearly after 2 years. Kappan was arrested while he was on his way to cover the Hathras gang-rape case in 2020. He had been in jail for over a month after he got bail in the two cases against him.
Mr. Kappan was supposed to walk out the jail last evening, but he was unable to do so because the judge of a special court that hears money laundering cases was preoccupied with a bar council election.
On his way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, in October 2020 to report on the alleged gang rape and death of a 20-year-old Dalit woman, which led to riots across the nation, he was detained. He was headed there, according to the cops, to stir some trouble.
A week after allegedly being subjected to many gang rapes, the woman passed away in a hospital in Delhi. The district authorities cremated her in the middle of the night in her hamlet, which led to claims of a cover-up and considerable criticism of the Yogi Adityanath government.
Sedition charges were brought against Mr. Kappan under the strict anti-terror law UAPA. The Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against him in February 2022, alleging that he had received funds from the outlawed People’s Front of India.
The Supreme Court granted him bail in September of last year after noting that no official charges had been brought against him and that a document found by the state police under the name “Toolkit” solely called for justice in the rape case.
Three months later, he was granted bail in the charge of money laundering. But a number of inefficiencies in the bureaucracy prevented his release.
The journalist and other people seized alongside him, according to the police, are members of the outlawed Popular Front of India and its Campus Front of India student branch. Mr. Kappan has disavowed any connection in or sponsorship of terrorism. He claimed he was traveling to Hathras to conduct journalistic research.
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