UP government opposes Kerala journalist’s bail request

Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday opposed the bail request of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested in October 2020 in connection with the Hathras conspiracy case, alleging he has strong ties to terrorist financing organizations like the People’s Front of India (PFI) and its student wing Campus Front of India (CFI).

The government opposed the bail plea filed by Kappan in the Supreme Court in the case filed against him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). He was arrested on his way to Hathras to cover a gang rape and murder case.

In its affidavit to the supreme court, the UP government said the Kerala journalist had close ties to PFI which has an anti-national agenda and was part of a wider conspiracy with the co- accused (including CFI financial launderer Rauf Sharif) of fomenting religious discord and spreading terror in the country.

The affidavit read: “Investigation has revealed that the petitioner is part of a larger conspiracy with the co-accused, including CFI financial launderer Rauf Shari, to foment religious discord and sow terror in the country, particularly following the anti CAA protests and violence, the Babri Masjid decision of this Honorable Court and the Hathras incident.

“The PFI’s anti-national and terrorist plot and agenda dates back to 2010 (when PFI (ex SIMI) executives) brutally mutilated (cut off the hands of) Christian lecturer TJ Thomas of Newman College, and 2013 when A PFI backed terrorist weapons training camp was raided by Kerala Police in Narath, an investigation which was later taken up by the NIA,” the UP government said.

It should be noted that the Uttar Pradesh government’s counter affidavit preceded the bail hearing in the Supreme Court which is scheduled for September 9.

Siddique Kappan was arrested by UP police, along with three others, as they traveled to Hathras to cover the gang rape and murder incident in October 2020. The journalist was arrested for his alleged links with the PFI and its suspicions of being part of a plan to start riots in the neighborhood.

He was charged under UAPA and convicted of sedition as well. He went to the Supreme Court after the Sessions Court and High Court denied him bail.

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