A Mathura court on Monday deferred a plea by the Uttar Pradesh STF to November 4 for police remand of four men booked under sedition and other charges after their arrest on their way to the Hathras rape-murder victim's village last month. Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Anju Rajput has deferred the application moved by the UP Special Task Force (STF) for police custody sought by them to November 4, APO Brijmohan Singh said.
He said that earlier Deputy Superintendent of Police (STF) Rakesh Paliwal had moved the application for taking the four men on police custody remand. Those arrested include a Kerala journalist, Siddique Kappan, who has not filed any bail application so far. The other accused in the case are Aalam, Masood and Atiqur Rahman.
According to the FIR, charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the IT Act were also filed against the four men, who were accused by the state police of having links with the Popular Front of India (PFI). The UP government had accused PFI members for instigating violence during the anti-CAA protests earlier in the year.
The four men were arrested from a toll plaza in Mathura as they were heading to Hathras district to visit the victim's native village. Citing a Supreme Court ruling, Madhuban Dutt Chaturvedi, counsel for the three accused including Masood, said any attempt by the STF to take Atiqur Rahman, Aalam, Masood and Kappan into police remand maynot succeed as police can interrogate them in jail only now while adding that everything would depend on the judgement by the CJM on November 4.
Last Friday, the court had also been requested to allow Masood to appear in a JRF examination under police custody as it is slated for November 5 in Lucknow, the counsel added. The magistrate has also adjourned the case related to this request till November 4, Chaturvedi said.
The Hathras incident that witnessed nationwide outrage involved a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly raped at a village in the district by four men on September 14. She later died in a Delhi hospital on September 29. She was then cremated in her native village with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.