“UP Police Tried To Deny Bail”: Journalists’ Body On S Kappan’s Release

Siddique Kappan was arrested on his way to UP’s Hathras in 2020

New Delhi:

The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) welcomed the bail granted by the Supreme Court to journalist Siddique Kappan – who had been languishing in an Uttar Pradesh jail for nearly two years – called it historic and spotlighted the continuing attacks against the freedom of press.

“Every person has freedom of expression,” said the Supreme Court while granting bail to the journalist.

Mr Kappan was arrested on his way to UP’s Hathras, where he said he was going to report on a 19-year-old’s gang-rape and murderin 2020. He was charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for alleged terror funding.

“The order is historic in the context of the continuing attack against the freedom of press and independent journalism,” said the KUWJ.

“The Uttar Pradesh police imposed Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and jailed him on false charges. The UP police and certain people tried to portray Kappan as a terrorist and tried all methods to deny him bail,” the KUWJ said in a statement.

It said the Uttar Pradesh police and that state government “tried to delay and scuttle the case” even at the stage when the KUWJ approached the Supreme Court with a habeas corpus petition for Mr Kappan’s release.

The journalists’ body said it will continue the legal fight till Mr Kappan is relieved of all charged imposed on him.

The Hathras case drew massive outrage and protests over allegations that the state administration and the police were involved in a cover-up.

The young woman died days after she was gang-raped. Later, the UP police cremated her in the dead of night, in the absence of her family.

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