Thiruvananthapuram: After 100 days of arrest of Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, Kappan's wife and his three children along with the coalition forum formed in support for his release staged a dharna in front of Kerala secretariat on January 12. The coalition and Kappan's family raised the demand for legal and political interventions from Kerala State Government and Chief Ministe.
The demand is to hold talks with the UP Government for Kappan's release. The state government hasn't yet given out any statements regarding the incident in which the UP police alleges that he is a PFI worker.
Siddique Kappan, who is also the Secretary of KUWJ (Kerala Union of Working Journalists) Delhi wing, was arrested on October 5 while he was on the way to report the inhumane Hathras Rape Case in Uttar Pradesh. Kappan and the co-accused in the case booked for allegedly being part of a larger conspiracy. They were booked under IPC sections 124-A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, etc) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), and provisions of the UAPA.
N.K Premachandran, M.P from Kollam constituency who inaugurated the dharna said that there have been many incidents in which the State Government had intervened politically and legally, in which the Kerala Legislature had even passed referendums in many such cases. He asked why the state government is delaying to take any stance on this case.
"Considering the inevitability of the freedom of press for the democratic working of a country, the Kerala Government should set aside the political differences and interfere in this case to demand his release." He said.
He also added that while the Center has been witch hunting the leaders like Asif Tanha and Safoora Zargar, it is the collective responsibility of the State Government and the Public to bear the onus to ensure the freedom of the press and media under a fascist government.
"My husband had done nothing wrong. The UP police claims that my husband had illegal transactions in his bank accounts and yet they are not able to produce any evidence to the claim. If it is so, let them prove it. The Police is just trying to frame fake versions, but truth will ultimately win. I have faith in the court." Says Raihana.
She said that Kappan was harassed badly in custody and was left without food for days. And after knowing that he is from Kerala, the UP Government asked him to tell the names of two CPM workers and then he would be saved.
Minority Rights Watch State Representative , KUWJ President K.P Reji, Welfare Party state secretary M.N Ansari, Human Rights activist A. Ajayan were other dignitaries who spoke in the dharna in support for Kappan's release.