Mother of Siddique Kappan, Kerala journalist jailed over the case of gangrape of a Dalit woman of Hathras, passed away at the age of 90. She was reportedly suffering from an illness for a long time. Kappan will not be able to attend her funeral which is going to be held on Friday, according to reports.
Kappan is reported to be suffering from medical issues himself. He visited his mother in February when he was on a bail for five days. During this period, he was assisted by UP Police at all times and was allowed to speak to relatives and doctors treating his mother. According to reports, Kappan asked his relatives to arrange for an immediate funeral if she passes away and even if he isn’t able to see her.
Kappan is a diabetic with blood pressure problems and had also contracted COVID-19 in the prison. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, other state MPs and the Editors Guild of India called out the “inhuman treatment” that Kappan is allegedly facing. His wife has written a letter to the Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana, and said that he is chained to a cot like an animal.
After this, the Supreme Court of India shifted Kappan to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for medical attention. The court said, “… fundamental ‘right to life’ unconditionally embraces even an undertrial. The consideration made herein is keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case.”
Kerala Union of Working Journalists have moved to the Supreme Court to seek bail for the journalist and are denying all allegations against him.
The Kerala journalist along with three others was charged under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Protection) Act (UAPA) when they were travelling to Hathras to cover the alleged Hathras gang-rape case. Kappan was charged under breach of peace under Section 116(6) of the CrPC which have been dropped. The charges of sedition and UAPA still stand.