In its latest affidavit in the Supreme Court, the Uttar Pradesh government has opposed the bail plea of PFI member and Kerala ‘journalist’ Siddique Kappan. He was arrested on October 5 for trying to disturb social harmony and incite caste violence following the Hathras case, along with Atiqur Rahman, Masood Ahmed and Alam.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), where Kappan served as the secretary of the Delhi unit, had moved the Supreme Court demanding his release and accusing the Uttar Pradesh government of ‘illegal arrest’ and trying to ‘silence the media’. However, the government had rubbished all its claims in the latest affidavit to the apex court.
KUWJ is a dubious organisation, tried to pass off Siddique Kappan as a ‘journalist’
The Yogi Adityanath-led-Uttar Pradesh government pointed out that Siddique Kappan was associated with the radical Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and a banned terrorist organisation named Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). It argued that KUWJ, which sought for the release of Kappan, is a dubious organisation with no credibility and that the accused is not a journalist, as per a report in Hindustan Times.
“KUWJ does not represent all journalists. There is a separate association of journalists which is the mainstream association. Therefore, the present petition is not maintainable…Kappan and all other co-accused are directly and closely associated with PFI members, who have been the executive members of the banned terrorist organisation SIMI,” it added.
The government also slammed the Kerala Union of Working Journalists for trying to cover up the ‘true identity’ of the accused. It said that Kappan worked as a ‘contributor’ at a newspaper named Thejas, and not as a ‘full-time journalist’. The news organisation had shut operations in December 2018 and as such, it did not make sense for Kappan to visit Hathras under the pretext of covering the case. The government, in its affidavit, said that Kappan and three other accused were en route Hathras to incite caste violence in the region, on the instructions of Delhi riot accused Mohammed Danish.
KUWJ facing charges for land encroachment, financial irregularities, and terror connections
The State government emphasised that KUWJ was under a vigilance inquiry on charges of ’embezzlement’ and ‘misappropriation’ of public funds, following an order of the Kerala High Court. It further stated that the Thrissur unit of KUWJ was also being probed for encroaching upon the land of the religious trust (devaswom) of Vadakkumnatha temple in Kerala.
It said that all ex-Editors working at the news organisation had links with PFI. The affidavit stated, “As per the investigations till date, most of the executive members of PFI who are ex-office bearers of terrorist organisation SIMI have been in close intimacy with Kappan… Documents disclosed the formation of PFI as a reincarnation of SIMI after being banned. Also, the motive and ideology of both PFI and SIMI are corroborative.”
Siddique Kappan – PFI member who supported Osama Bin Laden
The Uttar Pradesh government had submitted a copy of a front-page story by Kappan in Thejas, dating back to November 30, 2011, wherein he claimed that Al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden was a ‘martyr’. The government revealed that Siddique Kappan was the mastermind of several other riots, who in collusion with Thejas Editors, wanted to create religious unrest in the State of Kerala.
The UP government also informed the Supreme Court that Kappan and other co-accused were being investigated for fraudulent financial transactions. It has also accused Kappan of non-cooperation, reluctance to share details of his social media accounts and lying to the investigative officials about his residence in Delhi. The Supreme Court has now adjourned the hearing till the third week of January.
PFI member Rauf Sharif had paid for the Hathras trip of Kappan
Popular Front of India’s student wing Campus Front of India (CFI) leader KA Rauf Sharif was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday from Thiruvananthapuram when he was trying to flee from the country. As per the ED report, Rauf Sharif had funded the trip by PFI members and self-proclaimed journalist Siddique Kappan to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh after the controversy over the case. A lot of political parties and organisations had gathered in Hathras, trying to stoke unrest and stir up caste violence.
The ED has stated that Rauf Sharif had received foreign funding worth crores in the multiple bank accounts under suspicious transactions.