Weeks after his failed attempts to politicise Hathras murder case, Gandhi-scion Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the Congress party observed the “illegal detention” of PFI member masquerading as journalist Siddique Kappan as a serious matter and promised his party delegation that he would look into the issue of Kappan’s arrest.
According to the reports, the Congress leader met a delegation at Malappuram, Kerala on Monday and promised them to look into the issue of the arrest of ‘journalist’ Siddique Kappan.
It is pertinent to note that Siddique Kappan, who claims to be a journalist, is a native of Malappuram, Kerala. He is a member of Delhi unit of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police for attempting to instigate communal riots in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.
Rahul Gandhi has agreed to provide all assistance for my husband's release. He was going after Rahul Gandhi during his #Hathras visit when he was arrested. We are concerned as even lawyers haven't been able to meet him: Rehanath, Family member of Journalist Siddique Kappan https://t.co/lFRtkMrnck pic.twitter.com/CBi1yUB7TD— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2020
Kappan, along with three others were arrested, for their connection with Popular Front of India (PFI) and attempting to cause caste-based unrest in the state. They were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The police had alleged that they were conspiring to spoil the government’s image and disturb the atmosphere in the area. As per media reports, Rahul Gandhi has promised all help to secure Kappan’s release.
The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) secretary KP Naushad Ali and Mahila Congress leader Fathima Roshna had brought the detention issue to the notice of Rahul Gandhi, who reportedly assured them that Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee and party leader Priyanka Gandhi will intervene in the matter.
Speaking to the media, KPCC secretary KP Noushad Ali said, “Rahul said he is aware of the fact that he is a journalist and a member of the journalist union. He assured that Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee and AICC general secretary in charge of the state Priyanka Gandhi will intervene in the issue.”
Congress leader Kapil Sibal files Habeas corpus, seeks release of Siddique Kappan
Shockingly, Rahul Gandhi’s support to the far-left ‘journalist’ comes a week after senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court seeking the release of Siddique Kappan.
However, the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde had adjourned the plea for 4 weeks and had pulled up Sibal for not approaching the Allahabad court with regards to the plea.
The top court had said, “You approach the High Court, we are here only in case something wrong happens.”
Mathura court extends detention of Kappan
On Friday, a Mathura court in Uttar Pradesh extended the judicial custody of Siddique Kappan till November 2. The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Mathura Anju Rajput dismissed an application filed by the KUWJ, which had sought his immediate release from “illegal detention”.
The four accused were arrested on October 5 under CrPC section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code on the suspicion that they would intent to commit some cognisable offence. Later, the four were remanded to 14-day judicial custody till October 21. The court has now extended their detention till November 2.
All the four accused were later booked under sections 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground religion etc) and 295A (committing deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.
During their interrogation, it was revealed that the arrested had links with radical Islamic organisation Popular Front of India (PFI), which is one of the notorious groups accused of inciting violence in several parts of the country. The UP police had said that the accused were trying to create a violent, riots like situation in the area and were even in touch PFI members who are accused in Anti-Hindu Delhi riots.
The Uttar Pradesh police had recovered the mobile, laptop, and suspected literature from the suspects. The FIR launched against the four has serious charges, including threatening the unity and integrity of the country (treason).