Supreme Court allows Siddique Kappan to see his mother via video conference

Siddhique Kappan and three others were arrested on October 5.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed a request made by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) of its secretary Siddique Kappan, detained in a jail in Uttar Pradesh, to see his sick 90-year-old mother via videoconference.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde was assured by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for Uttar Pradesh, that arrangements would be made.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, for the KUWJ, said Mr. Kappan’s mother had some time ago expressed her wish to see him before she fell into an unconscious state.

In December, the Uttar Pradesh government objected to a plea by the KUWJ to release Mr. Kappan. It described him as a “mastermind” with links to riots and disturbing public tranquility nationwide.

He was detained in October by police while on his way with some others to visit Hathras, where a Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped and died later.

The State government, in an affidavit, had said Mr. Kappan and his other co accused were “mobilised towards” Hathras on the instructions of Md. Danish, an accused in the Delhi riots case. They were constantly in touch in Danish and Rauf Sherief, who is the general secretary of the student wing of PFI (Popular Front of India). Mr. Kappan and his co-accused were later booked under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) and offences under other criminal laws.

The State alleged that Mr. Kappan was directly and closely associated with PFI members, who were executive members of banned terrorist organisation SIMI (Students’ Islamic Movement of India).

The State has accused the KUWJ of misleading the court by portraying Mr. Kappan as a journalist. It said he was only an occasional contributor to some media outlets. The identity card shown by him belonged to a paper, Thejas, which was closed in 2018. This paper, the State said, was an “acclaimed mouthpiece” of the PFI, which was an “incarnation” of SIMI.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 11:13:59 AM |

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