NEW DELHI : Sidhique Kappan , a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the KUWJ’s Keral unit, was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October while on his way to Hathras to report on the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl.
They were later booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and also slapped with charges of sedition. KUWJ a journalist organisation had then approached the Supreme Court seeking Kappan’s release.
Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh Police had informed the Supreme Court that Kappan was not cooperating, with the investigation and had refused to divulge details of his social media accounts, passwords etc. in a bid to “conceal his misdeeds”.
KUWJ had on the other hand told the Supreme Court that Kappan “was beaten with lathi and slapped” in Mathura jail, where he is lodged. It was also claimed by KUWJ that Kappan was denied sleep and medicines though he is a diabetic and on medication. Kappan was beaten up, dragged by the jail authorities and also subject to “mental torture,” the affidavit submitted by KUWJ added.
“He is presently hospitalized in KM Medical College , Mathura. It is reliably believed that, more than 50 inmates of Mathura Jail are suffering from COVID, with various of scarcities, and even drinking water from toilet, seriously affecting hygiene, health, all leading to a major disaster in the making. In short, as on today , the life of Mr. Sidhique Kappan is in danger for all reasons,” the plea said.
Thus, taking into account Kappan’s deteriorating health condition, he should be shifted to AIIMS or Safadrjung Hospital, New Delhi immediately, it was submitted.