The arrest of Kerala journo is taking new turns. Indian National Congress leader and Member of Parliament from Vadakara, K Muraleedharan, has inscribed to the Prime Minister demanding the immediate relief of Siddique Kappan. Kappan is a Malayalam news journalist based in Delhi, who was held by the cops of Uttar Pradesh on October 4 while he was on his way to Hathras to report on the alleged gang rape and subsequent death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman. A day later, he and three others were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and housed in the Mathura prison.
“I am writing this letter to bring to your attention an incident which is a shame on our democratic values...Siddique Kappan has been booked under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and stringent provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)....The news item (sic) on the arrest of Siddique Kappan has caught public attention and the act of the UP police is widely condemned,” K Muraleedharan wrote in his letter. Kappan is also the secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Delhi Unit. Muraleedharan added that the journalist’s arrest has been “construed as an infringement on freedom of speech and press”.
“I request your good offices to intervene in the matter to ensure fair justice is provided to Siddique Kappan and he is not detained unnecessarily for a long time. I personally demand his immediate release,” the letter read. The Chadpa police station in Uttar Pradesh registered a case against the journalist alleging that he was involved in a ‘conspiracy to instigate riots along caste lines and defame the state government over the alleged rape and murder’.