Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested on Oct 5 by Uttar Pradesh police and charged under sedition and UAPA sections, found some relief when the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Maant, Ram Datt Ram, dropped charges of breach of peace against him and three others.
The judge said that police had failed to complete the inquiry against them within the prescribed period of six months. Kappan, who was picked up on his way to Hathras to cover the gang rape of a dalit woman, was discharged along with Atikurrahman, Aalam and Masood . They were arrested under sections 151, 107, 116 CrPC on October 5, 2020 by Maan police, defence counsel Madhuban Datt Chaturvedi said.
Kappan and others were produced before the Maant court and in this video, says that the case against him is fake and that he has faith in the Constitution of India:
They were in jail since October 7 2020 on charges under sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups…), 295A (outraging religious feelings), 124A (sedition), 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, 17/18 of Unlawful Activities Pprevention Act (raising funds for terrorist act) and under various provisions of the IT Act.
There were several protests by journalists’ bodies across India and a sustained campaign by the Sddiquq Kappan Solidarity Committee for his release. On Feb 15, 2021, he managed to secure interim bail on a plea to the Supreme Court to meet his ailing mother. His bail plea now comes up on June 22, 2021.