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Arrested journalist Siddique Kappan's family to stage dharna in front of Kerala Secretariat today

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A file photo of Siddique Kappan. | Photo: Twitter/@vssanakan

Thiruvananthapuram: Family of arrested journalist Siddique Kappan, who is in judicial custody in Uttar Pradesh, will hold a dharna in front of the Kerala Secretariat on Tuesday.

Several organisations have extended their support to the family's protest demanding the Kerala Government's urgent intervention.

Siddique Kappan Aikyadardhya Samiti (Siddique Kappan Solidarity Committee) said that NK Premachandran MP will inaugurate the dharna.

KNA Qadar MLA, V D Sathisan MLA, Dr. MK Muneer MLA, Dr. J Devika, KUWJ president K P Reji, Lathika Subhash, Dr. Sonia, George, Varkala Raj, Thulasidharan Pallikkal, R. Ajayan, Shameena Beegum, AS Ajith Kumar, Ambili Omanakuttan, NM Ansari, Renny Ayline, NP Chekkutty, Sreeja Neyyatinkara and others will take part.

Kappan was arrested near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh along with three others, when they were on their way to Hathras to report on the gang-rape and subsequent death of a Dalit woman, whose body was cremated by the police in a surreptitious manner.

Kappan and the other three have been booked for sedition and under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Recently, their custody was extended by 90 days by Additional District and Sessions Judge (first) Anil Kumar Pandey.

Kappan was accorded his right to talk with his counsel only after 45 days of the arrest when he was allowed to speak with Adv. Wills Mathews for five minutes on 18 November 2020.

Following his arrest, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court challenging Kappan's custody. The KUWJ argued that the arrest was illegal and unconstitutional.

On December 14, a bench led by the Chief Justice of India had adjourned the hearing of a plea seeking immediate release of the scribe to the third week of January.

The Kerala Union of Working Journalists as well as Kappan's family had alleged that the journalist was abused and subjected to mental torture while in custody.

Reyhanat Siddique, wife of the journalist, told media that the police officials had asked the journalist to name any of the parliament members of the CPI (M) so that early release could be secured. She also said that the UP government is trying to discredit the Delhi unit of the KUWJ.

In a related development, the Enforcement Directorate had arrested Campus Front of India (CFI) leader KA Rauf Sherif alleging that he funded the trip of Kappan and others to Hathras.

Student Islamic Organisation (SIO), Minority Rights Watch, Journalists for Freedom and other organisations have extended their support to Tuesday's dharna.

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TAGS:Siddique Kappan Journalist 
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