Siddique Kappan’s bail plea seen by many news quarters as a bellwether moment in the judiciary, a crucial fight for the fourth pillar of democracy, is nothing but a straightforward case of a criminal cleverly finding loopholes in the law in order to taste, temporary freedom.
Kappan, who has now spent almost two years behind bars, was arrested, along with other accused by the UP police in October 2020 while he, along with some others were proceeding to report the Hathras rape-murder crime but as investigations would later reveal they had other plans in mind. While initially he was arrested under the apprehension of causing a breach of peace, as further incriminating material was unearthed, he was booked under the UAPA alleging that him and his co-passengers were trying to incite communal riots and disrupt social harmony in the wake of the Hathras gangrape-murder case.
Earlier, Kappan had moved the Allahabad High Court after a local court in Mathura had rejected his bail plea last year in July. While denying bail to Kappan, the Allahabad High Court had stated that he had no business being in Hathras.
The Uttar Pradesh government opposed Sidddique’s bail plea and in its affidavit to the Supreme Court, stating that he has “deep links” with terror funding/planning organisation like Popular Front of India and its student wing, Campus Front of India.
Based on the counter affidavit filed by Uttar Pradesh Government here are reasons why the alleged journalist should not be granted bail.
Association with PFI
Siddique who had initially denied any link with PFI, it is alleged that at least from the year 2009 onwards, Kappan was Reporter for “Gulf Thejas Daily”, Jeddah, which is said to be a Malayalam language mouthpiece of the extremist organization PFI. And Islamist outfit PFI is notorious for creating religious discord in India. One only needs to go through their ‘India Vision 2047’ to understand their sinister plans for the country.
During his arrest, 4 IDs were seized from him, 2 of which were of Thejas Daily.
Therefore, what was PFI member Kappan going to Hathras for? Most likely the UP government foiled a well-planned mission by the PFI/CFI delegation who intended to foment discord and spread terror using the rape case as a background.
Financial links with PFI/CFI
“Investigation has revealed that the said delegation was sent to Hathras on the directions of co-accused Rauf Sharif (National General Secretary, CFI, prime fund raiser and financial transaction handler for PFI/CFI), who had also provided finances for the trip.”
His connection with Rauf Sharif (National General Secretary, CFI, prime fundraiser and financial transaction handler for PFI/CFI) is further detailed in a Whatsapp conversation between the two:
“Further, Rauf Sharif sent a Whatsapp message to Kappan at 12:26 pm on 05/10/2020. The affidavit says, the WhatsApp message “specifically stated: “What’s the status there” meaning thereby that Sharif was well aware of the Petitioner’s whereabouts on the date. The same is also confirmed by co-accused Rauf Sharif’s 161 statement in the present case”.
Kappan received two transactions of Rs 25,000 and Rs 20,000 as a salary right before his trip to Hathras. He claimed that the money was meant for construction of his house. Whereas the UP affidavit states:
“In the present Petition, the Petitioner has claimed that the Rs. 25000 of 15.09.2020 was money deposited by him which he had saved to construct a house and that the Rs. 20000 of 4.10.2020 was money that had been borrowed by friends and returned to him. However, in his Supplementary rejoinder before High Court, the Petitioner has (at p. 364) states that “the alleged payments made to the applicant are relating to his salary paid for working at Tejas Daily.”
Kappan has not even been able to explain the cash deposits totalling to Rs. 45000/- in the months of September and October 2020, just prior to the Petitioner’s trip to Hathras, government said.
Kappan in his affidavit to Supreme Court hasn’t bothered to explain what these cash deposits were for?
Travelling with riot acused
Kappan undertook his “journalistic duties” travelling with known riot accused, or one can even say riot experts.
Here’s the bio data of his fellow travellers.
Atik–ur–Rahman is the National treasurer of CFI, accused in relation to Muzaffarnagar riots.
Masood Ahmad is the former General Secretary of Delhi chapter of CFI, accused in relation to Behraich riots.
“If the Petitioner was in fact a “journalist” exercising his professional duties as claimed, why would he be traveling with known riot accused persons.”
His release will put lives of witnesses in danger
Lastly, the affidavit stated that releasing Kappan would endanger the witnesses who have been subject to serious threats and trolling.
“One such witness, VV Binu, a journalist, resident of Bihar, who had provided certain information against 18 the Petitioner to the police, has been the victim of vicious trolling online, including but not limited to death threats. In fact, VV Binu was in such fear for his life that he had emailed his statement to the STF, instead of providing the same in person.”
The Supreme Court had last month issued notice on Kappan’s plea challenging the rejection of his bail application in Hathras Conspiracy case by the Allahabad High Court.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat has posted the case for final disposal on September 9.