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Kerala journalist, arrested on way to UP's Hathras in 2020, gets bail Siddiuw Kappan

Kerala journalist, arrested on way to UP's Hathras in 2020, gets bail

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 23 Dec 2022, 08:55 pm

Lucknow/IBNS: Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested on charges of terrorism while on his way to UP's Hathras to report on the 2020 Dalit woman's rape and murder case, got bail on Friday in a money laundering case from the High Court.

The Supreme Court had already granted him bail in the terror case that was filed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other related laws in September.

However, he remained in jail in Lucknow owing to another case filed by the Enforcement Directorate in 2021.

Earlier this month, a court in Lucknow had framed charges against him and six others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which meant the trial could finally begin.

The other accused are KA Rauf Sherif, Atikur Rahman, Masud Ahmad, Mohammad Alam, Abdul Razzak and Ashraf Khadir.

According to the police, these men are members of the banned organisation Popular Front of India and its student wing, Campus Front of India (CFI) and were going to Hathras as per directions of the PFI with the intention to spread communal discord.

Siddique Kappan and his lawyers have repeatedly denied any involvement in terror acts or financing and argued that he was travelling to Hathras only for reporting as a journalist.

Three months ago, when the Supreme Court gave him bail in the terror case, Opposition parties and journalist groups welcomed the order.

According to the opposition, Kappan was made a "soft target" by UP's BJP government for being a Muslim.

Kappan along and three of the co-accused- Atikur Rehman, Mohammad Alam and Masud Ahmad- were arrested by the UP police in Mathura in October 2020 on their way to Hathras.

The arrest occurred days after a Dalit woman in Hathras died after she was allegedly gang-raped triggering massive reactions across the nation.

She was cremated in the middle of the night in her village by the district administration, sparking protests and widespread condemnation of Yogi Adityanath's BJP government.

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