A journalists' organisation has moved the Supreme Court against the arrest of a scribe by UP Police in Mathura while he was on way to Hathras, home to a Dalit woman who died after being allegedly gang-raped by four upper-caste men. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) has filed a habeas corpus petition in the top court against the arrest of the journalist, Sidhique Kappan.
Terming the arrest as illegal and unconstitutional, the journalists' body has filed the petition seeking his immediate production and release from "illegal detention". The Uttar Pradesh police had on Monday said it has arrested four people having links with the Popular Front of India and its affiliate in Mathura.
The PFI had been accused of funding protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act across the country earlier this year and the UP police had sought a ban on the outfit. The police had identified the arrested persons as Siddique from Malappuram, Atiq-ur Rehman from Muzaffarnagar, Masood Ahmed from Bahraich and Alam from Rampur.
Hours after the arrest, the prominent journalist body of Kerala identified Malappuram native Siddique by his full name as Siddique Kappan, saying he is "a senior Delhi-based journalist. The plea states that the arrest was made in violation of the mandatory guidelines laid down by apex court and with the sole intention of obstructing the discharge of duty by a journalist.
The petition alleged that family members or the colleagues have not been informed of the arrest of his arrest. Hathras has been in the news following the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped on September 14 in a village in the district. Her cremation at night by the authorities, allegedly without the parents' consent, has triggered widespread outrage.