Kerala journalist, 3 others held on way to Hathras slapped with second sedition case

The four arrested 13 days ago also face charges of conspiracy to instigate riots along caste lines and defame the state govt over the alleged rape, murder of a Dalit woman

Kappan was travelling to Hathras to meet the family of the Dalit girl, who was allegedly gangraped. The woman died later.

A Kerala journalist and three members of the Campus Front of India have been named by the Hathras police in Uttar Pradesh in another sedition case and other serious charges, reports The Indian Express.

The four are at present lodged in Mathura jail.

The four were arrested 13 days ago while they were on the way to Hathras to meet the family of a Dalit gang rape victim who died in a Delhi hospital late last month and was cremated hastily in the dead of night, sparking outrage across the country.

The case registered at Chandpa police station of Hathras on October 4 relates to alleged conspiracy to instigate riots along caste lines and defame the state government over the alleged rape, and murder, of the Dalit woman.

According to Hathras police, their investigation found that the four arrested from Mathura — journalist Siddique Kappan (41), and CFI members Atiq-ur-Rahman (25), Masood Ahmed (26) and Alam (26) — were allegedly involved in the earlier case.

The CFI is the students’ wing of the radical Popular Front of India.

Hathras Superintendent of Police Vineet Jaiswal said a local court has issued warrant B (warrant for production) against all four, asking them to appear before the court.

The court issued the order on the basis of a report filed by an investigating officer of the case lodged by Chandpa police. “We have served a production warrant of all four persons to Mathura jail authorities. The case is related to conspiracy to instigate riots,” Chandpa SHO Laxman Singh, investigating officer in the case, said.

Meanwhile, Muzaffarnagar police have booked Atiq-ur-Rahman in a case of violence that occurred during the anti-CAA protests in Kotwali area of the district in December 2019. Rahman is a resident of Muzaffarnagar.

Both developments took place over Thursday and Friday.

On October 5, the Mathura police detained the four men at Maant toll plaza. A day later, they were booked for allegedly being part of a large conspiracy behind their visit to Hathras. They were booked under charges including UAPA, and IPC 124-A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, etc) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings).

A case was lodged against them at Maant police station in Mathura.

In the meantime, Hathras police, while probing a case lodged against unidentified persons at Chandpa police station, found alleged role of Kappan, Atiq-ur-Rahman, Masood Ahmed and Alam in the case. The FIR in Hathras has invoked charges under IPC Sections 153-A, 124-A, 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 420 (cheating).

The Muzaffarnagar police also moved court and obtained a production warrant against Rehman in the case of violence during anti-CAA protests last year.

Inspector Vijay Kumar Singh, who is part of the SIT probing cases filed during anti-CAA protests in Muzaffarnagar, said: “While probing into the violence on December 20 (last year) in Kotwali area, we found Atiq-ur-Rehman was present at the spot and had arranged funding for the violence.”

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