Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested on terror charges, has not been released even a month after he got bail due to bureaucratic lapses. Sources said he cannot be released today since the District Judge of the Special Court on Prevention of Money Laundering was busy with a Bar Council election.
He was expected to walk out this evening after his sureties were verified. His lawyers have been waiting for his release order, sources said.
Siddique Kappan was arrested in October 2021 while he was on way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, to report on the situation following the alleged gang rape and death of a 20-year-old woman from the Scheduled Castes, which triggered outrage across the country.
He was accused of sedition and charged under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA. In February 2021, the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against Kappan, accusing him of receiving money from the banned Popular Front of India.
He has got bail in the terror case -- filed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other related laws -- from the Supreme Court in September last year. in December 2022, Kappan got bail in a money laundering case from the Allahabad High Court.
The police have claimed that Siddique Kappan and others arrested with him are members of the PFI and its student wing, the Campus Front of India.He was going to Hathras on the directions of the PFI to spread discord, the police claimed.
Kappan has denied any involvement in terror acts or financing, contending he was on way to Hathras for journalistic work.
In 2020, a Dalit woman died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped in the Hathras district. She was cremated in the middle of the night in her village by the district administration, sparking protests and widespread condemnation of the Yogi Adityanath government.