Journalist Siddique Kappan granted 5-day bail to visit ailing mother in Kerala

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that during his visit, Siddique shall not give any interview to the media.
File photo of Siddique Kappan
File photo of Siddique Kappan
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The Supreme Court Monday granted five-day bail to journalist Siddique Kappan to visit his ailing mother. Siddique Kappan was arrested on October 5 on his way to Hathras, where a young Dalit woman had died after being allegedly gang-raped. Although he has been granted bail for five days, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that he shall not give any interview to the media, including social media, during his visit.

Appearing for Siddique, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that a video conference was arranged with the journalist’s mother on January 28, but she could not speak and could barely recognise him.

“(Siddque’s) mother is said to be in a critical situation and that she is likely not to survive for many days. In these circumstances, we consider it appropriate to permit the detenu to visit his mother and return to prison at the end of the fifth day,” CJI Bobde said in his order.

The bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said that Siddique will not meet members of the public except his relatives and doctors concerned. It said Siddique will be escorted by a team of Uttar Pradesh police officers and police in Kerala should cooperate with them.

Kappan was arrested on October 5, 2020, while he was on his way to Hathras, home to the 19-year-old Dalit woman who died after being allegedly gang-raped by four dominant caste men on September 14. Her cremation at night by the authorities, allegedly without the parents' consent, had triggered widespread outrage.

The police had said it has arrested four people having alleged links with the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Mathura and identified the arrested persons as Siddique from Malappuram, Atiq-ur Rehman from Muzaffarnagar, Masood Ahmed from Bahraich and Alam from Rampur.

In an affidavit in December 2020, Department of Home Affairs, Uttar Pradesh, alleged that several documents were found from Kappan's house. "Kappan is closely associated and has been in frequent connection through social media portals and telephonic conversations with PFI members holding various portfolios across the country, most of whom have also been executive members of banned terrorist organization SIMI,” the affidavit added.

The Uttar Pradesh police also accused Siddique Kappan of being in possession of an identity card of a Malayalam newspaper that was shut in 2018.

With IANS and PTI inputs

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