A Mathura court on Tuesday (June 16) dropped the proceedings of apprehensions of breach of peace against Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and three others who were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police eight months back, on their way to Hathras where a Dalit girl was allegedly gangraped and murdered.
Kappan and three others were arrested by the police on October 5, 2020 for their suspected links with the radical group Popular Front of India (PFI).
Sub Divisional Magistrate of Mant Ram Datt Ram dropped the proceedings against them after the UP police failed to complete the inquiry against them within the prescribed time period of six months, according to Section 116 (6) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc).
The accused were arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
On June 1, Siddique Kappan had filed a regular bail application before the Mathura District Court and stressed upon the fact that the evidence against him is ‘fabricated’ and there is nothing to connect him to PFI. The application also stated that keeping him in jail under UAPA “is nothing but a misuse of its provisions, more particularly when there is no iota of evidence or recovery against the accused even in the charge sheet.”
Why was Kappan arrested?
Siddique Kappan, Alam, Atiqur Rahman and Masood Ahmed were arrested while they were on way to Hathras.
The initial charge against them was of breach of peace. A sub-divisional magistrate sent them to judicial custody.
Later, they were booked under the UAPA on the charge of attempting to incite communal riots and disrupt social harmony in the backdrop of the Hathras gangrape-murder case.
In April this year, Uttar Pradesh police’s Special Task Force filed a chargesheet against Kappan and eight people linked to Popular Front of India for sedition, criminal conspiracy, funding of terror activities and other offences.