Who is Siddique Kappan?

Siddique Kappan is a journalist working for the Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ). He was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020. He was on his way to Hathras to report on the gang rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.

Kappan was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in the Hathras conspiracy case by the Uttar Pradesh government. The Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Kappan and three others on October 5, 2020, from the Mant area of Mathura. Police had claimed that the accused were travelling to Hathras to disturb peace and harmony in the area. The FIR has been filed under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the UAPA against four people having alleged links with the Popular Front of India (PFI).

The police had said it arrested four people having links with the PFI in Mathura and identified those arrested as Siddique from Malappuram, Atiq-ur-Rehman from Muzaffarnagar, Masood Ahmed from Bahraich and Alam from Rampur.

Kappan, a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists, has maintained that he was going there to report on the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl- the incident that sparked a furore in September 2020.

Siddique Kappan and others were charged under Sections 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Section 124A (sedition), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of Indian Penal Code and Sections 65, 72 and 75 of the Information Technology Act.

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