Journalist Siddique Kappan shifted back to Mathura Jail

Family alleges he was moved in a secretive manner, they were denied access to meet him

May 07, 2021 10:54 pm | Updated 11:05 pm IST - LUCKNOW:

Siddique Kappan.

Siddique Kappan.

The family of Malayalam journalist Siddique Kappan, who is incarcerated in Uttar Pradesh over sedition charges, have alleged that he was shifted back to the Mathura Jail from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi in a hurried and secretive manner, and that they were denied access to meet him during his stay at the hospital. The family claimed Mr. Kappan was shifted back to Mathura without being fully treated.

Shailendra Maitreya, Superintendent of the Mathura Jail, where the scribe is lodged, said he could not comment on the allegations made by the family but confirmed that Mr. Kappan had been brought back to the prison on Thursday night and kept in an isolation ward, where he was being provided medication as per protocol. Mr. Kappan, who tested positive for the coronavirus on April 21, is still positive, said Mr. Maitreya and the scribe’s lawyer Wills Matthew.

Mr. Kappan was shifted to AIIMS hospital after the Supreme Court instructed the Uttar Pradesh government to transfer him to a hospital in Delhi for proper treatment. He was initially admitted to the KM Medical College in Mathura where his family alleged he was subjected to mental torture.

Speaking through an acquaintance, Mr. Kappan’s wife Raihanath said on Thursday night that she was informed by a source that her husband had been discharged and shifted back to Mathura. She said she had not been informed about it by the officials. Ms. Raihanath and her son had travelled from Kerala to Delhi in hope of meeting Mr. Kappan at the hospital, but she said they were denied access.

On Friday, Mr. Kappan spoke to his wife on telephone. “He called her and said he was kind of fine but the treatment had not been completed,” said an acquaintance of Ms. Raihanath. Mr. Kappan is a diabetic and recently also had a fall in the bathroom in Mathura Jail.

Mr. Maitreya said Mr. Kappan had been shifted back only after AIIMS, Delhi discharged him. “He was in the custody of AIIMS. He had shown improvement. That’s why they discharged him,” Mr. Maitreya said.

Mr. Kappan was admitted in AIIMS from April 30 to May 6. He would be kept in isolation for 14 days at Mathura Jail, said Mr. Maitreya.

After fruitlessly waiting for a week in Delhi, Ms. Raihanath said she would return to Kerala on Saturday.

Wills Matthews, Mr. Kappan’s counsel, argued that Mr. Kappan needed further treatment and should not have been discharged till he was normal.

“He has injuries on his body and face, and is highly diabetic,” the lawyer said. “He was denied access to his wife and son who have waited for last seven days. These are basic human rights. Having the company of near and dear ones works better than medicine.”

Mr. Wills also said that while Mr. Kappan had initially tested positive, he was then declared negative twice before testing positive again three or four days back.

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