"Do something to protect his life," says arrested journalist Siddique Kappan's wife Raihana Siddique in a press meet held at Calicut press club today. Siddique Kappan was tested COVID positive and more than fifty prisoners in Mathura jail are currently affected.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists on Thursday approached the Supreme Court seeking immediate intervention to a hospital in Delhi where he can avail better health care. Siddique Kappan, who was working as a Delhi correspondent for Azhimukham.com is the secretary of KUWJ's Delhi unit.
"It was three days ago he had called, he sounded tired, told that he had fever, pain and diarrhoea. His sugar levels went high and he collapsed in the toilet. I didn't know about this until his lawyer told me about it. Now, I know nothing about Siddique, I don't have an idea in what condition he is right now." Raihana said.
Kappan's lawyer Wills Mathew told the media that since Kappan was shifted from the prison hospital to KM Medical college hospital he too wasn't updated about his condition. Siddique Kappan is diabetic with hypertension and high cholesterol.
"All political parties have the responsibility to save his life. Do something to protect his life. A habeas corpus petition must be considered in two weeks. The case has been lifted for hearing for months now.
He didn't have proper food in the prison. He was vomiting whatever he had. His immunity level is low. You know how the CoVID second wave is and how it will affect a body. Everybody knows the truth about him but we know, only when the court acknowledges it, he will be released. But now, I somehow want to go meet him. I wish to go if the court allows. He is very week. The arrest is political but he has no political affiliation. The Kerala CM must do something immediately." Raihana Siddique said addressing the media persons. Raihana also called for the support of journalists to spread the news.
Senior journalist and Siddique Kappan Solidarity Committee's chairperson NP Chekkutty calls Siddique's journey to Hatras a dutiful journey to do journalism in a critical CoVID situation, that resulted in six months prison and COVID infection from a UP jail. ''In the past few days, three journalists in Delhi died of COVID. They weren't imprisoned. We know what happens in UP. We can't allow this situation to continue. At this point, the Kerala society must speak up against this, including political leadership. If we are belated to act, that would result in a tragedy." Chekkutty said.
PS Ragesh, KUWJ's Calicut district secretary said that the union has given an application to the Kerala Governor. An urgent petition is filed at the Supreme Court seeking to move him to AIIMS Delhi.
NP Chekkutty said that the Kerala government have the moral responsibility to act now since Siddique is a Malayali and he deserves to be protected right now.
The UP police have filed a five thousand pages charge sheet against Siddique Kappan and seven others which include Campus Front leaders and PFI activists who were arrested from various states in the past few months. The hearing in the case has been postponed so many times.