Siddique, a Malayali journalist from Delhi, was on his way to Hathras in UP to cover the alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit teenager.

Siddique Kappan with a beard and a pair of spectacles smiles
news Court Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 08:47

A Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura ordered Delhi-based Malayali journalist Siddique Kappan and three others who were recently arrested on their way to Hathras, to furnish a surety bond to keep peace in society. The journalist was on his way to Hathras to cover the alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit teenaged woman.

Pending the furnishing of the surety bond worth Rs one lakh each for their release, SDM Suresh Kumar of Mathura's Mant sub-division remanded journalist Siddique Kappan and three others to judicial custody for 14 days.

The four are already in judicial custody on charges of various penal and terror offences, including sedition and raising fund for terrorism, slapped later by Mathura police on the allegation that they were Popular Front of India (PFI) activists.

The SDM ordered them to furnish peace bond under the provisions of section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code and pending the submission of the surety, remanded them to judicial custody under the provisions of section 116 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Before slapping charges of sedition under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and various other offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Information Technology (IT) Act, the police had initially arrested the four under section 151 of the CrPC on the suspicion of their intention to commit some cognisable offence.

“Accused Siddique Kappan, Atiqur Rahman, Alam and Masood, having links with the alleged radical group Popular Front of India and its affiliates and booked under sections 151/107/116 of CrPC have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days by SDM, Mant,” said an official release.

Read: K Muraleedharan writes to PM Modi demanding journo Siddique Kappan's release

The accused, lodged in Mathura jail, appeared before the SDM through video conferencing.

The 14-day judicial custody of the four in the sedition and terror case ends on Tuesday when they are slated to be produced before the judicial magistrate for its further extension.

The four were later booked by the police under sections 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion etc) and 295A (committing deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The four have also been slapped with section 17 of the UAPA for allegedly raising funds for terror activities, made a cognisable offence under Section 14 of the anti-terror act.

The four have also been booked under section 65, 72 and 76 of the IT Act respectively pertaining to tampering with any computer source documents, the penalty for breach of confidentiality and privacy and the confiscation of computers used in the offence.

(With PTI input)

Watch: Kerala journalists protest the arrest of Siddique Kappan

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