After it was revealed that a journalist from Malayala Manorama, Binu Vijayan, has given a statement against Siddique Kappan, who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police and charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the latter's wife Raihanath Kappan is seeking an explanation from the Malayalam media giant. Independent journalist Siddique Kappan was arrested in October 2020 when he was on the way to Hathras to report the gangrape and murder of a Dalit woman, allegedly by dominant case men.
Newslaundry reported on December 28 that Binu Vijayan, who is a journalist with Malayala Manorama’s Patna bureau, had given a statement to the UP police alleging that Kappan was involved in misappropriating funds when he was the Secretary of the Delhi chapter of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ). Binu also apparently told the police that Kappan was involved in spreading “fake news to incite communal violence and pose danger to national integrity and communal harmony.” The purported “fake news” was related to the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi in 2019. He also alleged that Kappan has influenced media coverage of the riots that took place in north-east Delhi in February 2020. These statements against Kappan have been included in the UP police’s chargesheet.
Speaking to The News Minute Raihanath said that she needs an explanation from Malayala Manorama on this. "I will give a complaint to the concerned authorities of the newspaper. It is because of his baseless allegations that my husband has been charged under UAPA," she added.
Raihanath also alleged a conspiracy behind her husband’s arrest. “My husband had said the police were already at the toll gate from where he was arrested, as though they were waiting for him. They were prepared. So, it is possible that someone gave the police some false information which caused the arrest.” She added, “With the involvement of this Journalist, my doubts have intensified.” Raihanath said that she will take further legal steps after receiving the chargesheet.
She also alleged that Binu had some dispute with KUWJ since he was not selected to be on its panel. The Newslaundry report mentioned that when Kappan was selected as secretary of KUWJ in 2019, Binu resigned from his membership.
Meanwhile KUWJ Delhi unit has denied Binu's allegations against Siddique Kappan.