Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan released from UP jail after 2 years
Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan walked out of Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow jail on Thursday, more than two years after he was arrested while reporting on the Hathras rape case and imprisoned by the UP government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Kappan was arrested while on his way to cover the alleged gang-rape and eventual death of a young Dalit woman which sparked protests across the nation, and was booked under the anti-terror law for alleged links with proscribed outfit Popular Front of India (PFI). Police had claimed that Kappan was going there to spark unrest.
The Supreme Court granted him bail in that case but the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against him, preventing his release at the time.
The journalist was initially booked under UAPA for sedition and later, in February 2022, the ED booked him for allegedly receiving money from the PFI.
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On December 23, Siddique Kappan was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in the money laundering case and sureties required for his release were submitted in a court on Wednesday.
Kappan was to be released last evening but the special court judge was busy with a bar council election.
Kappan was arrested in October 2020 while on his way to cover the alleged the gang rape and death of a young Dalit woman in UP’s Hathras.
The 20-year-old woman had died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped.
The victim was suspiciously cremated in the middle of the night in her native village by the district administration, sparking accusations of a cover-up and widespread condemnation of the Yogi Adityanath government.
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