Campus Front of India leader Rauf Shareef is being brought from Kerala by plane after a court here issued a production warrant in connection with a case of funding and stirring up unrest following the assault and death of a woman in Hathras, his counsel said on Saturday. Shareef was lodged in Ernakulam Jail after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in December in a money laundering case.
"Shareef was taken out of Ernakulam jail on Saturday about 4.30 pm for his onward journey to Mathura," his counsel Madhuban Datt Chaturvedi said. He is likely to be presented before Additional District and Sessions Judge (first) Anil Kumar Pandey on Sunday and then may be sent for judicial custody for his appearance in the court on February 16, Chaturvedi said.
On the request of the Uttar Pradesh STF, a 'B warrant' was issued by the additional district and sessions Judge for the production of the fifth accused, Shareef, in the court on February 16. On January 16, a similar warrant was issued by Sessions Judge Anil Kumar Pandey for the appearance of Shareef in the court on February 1 but he did not turn up.
If a person is in jail for more than one offence, B warrant is issued for him and the accused is presented before court by jail authorities and not by police. On the request of the STF, the warrant was issued for the third time on February 1 making it obligatory for Ernakulam jail authorities to present him before the court on February 16. In a remand report submitted in court in Kerala, the ED had alleged that Shareef, who was the leader of Popular Front of India's students' wing, had funded the trip of Sidhique Kappan, a Delhi-based Kerala journalist, and three other alleged PFI activists to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit woman died after being allegedly gang-raped.
Kappan and the three others were arrested by the UP police in October while they were on their way to Hathras. It was alleged they had "ulterior motives of disturbing social harmony and inciting communal riots" and were charged with serious offences including sedition.