A court here Tuesday rejected the bail application of journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested in October last year while on his way to Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras.
The Uttar Pradesh police had arrested Kappan along with three others, claiming they had links with the Popular Front of India and its affiliate in Mathura. They were on their way to a village in Hathras to meet the family of a Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped and killed.
“Rejecting the arguments of defense counsel, and giving weightage to the arguments presented by the government counsellearned Additional District and Sessions Judge (first) Anil Kumar Pandey turned down the bail application of accused Kappan," District Government Counsel Shiv Ram Singh said.
He said the accused claims to be a correspondent of Tejas News even though it has been non-functional since 2018. It was alleged that the accused, while claiming himself to be a journalist, was involved in wrongful activities for which he was getting adequate funding.
Defense counsel Madhuban Datt Chaturvedi said the court has not considered the plea that there is no evidence in support of the allegation. Seeking bail, the defense counsel also said since the investigation has been completed, there is no apprehension of Kappan tampering with the evidence or influencing the witnesses.
Supreme Court advocate Wills Mathew, who also appeared in the Mathura court as a defense counsel, said Kappan deserved bail as during the parole granted by the apex court his conduct was good. Besides Kappan, Atiq-ur-Rehman, Aalam and Masood were also arrested on October 5 last year by a Mant police station team in Mathura district for alleged breach of peace.
They were subsequently booked under serious changes such as sedition. Later, the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was also invoked.