Siddique Kappan

Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan was arrested in October 2020 in Uttar Pradesh on his way to report on the Hathras rape case.


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Hindu nationalist party led by current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been strategically targeting Indian journalists, specifically those critical of the Indian government, since it took power in 2014. According to The Wire, at least 194 journalists were targeted across the country and by state agencies, non-state political actors, and armed opposition groups in 2022.

Activists and human rights advocates have expressed grave concerns over the immense crackdown on free speech in India, according to Wired. Siddique Kappan was on his way to report on the Hathras rape case, where a Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped and killed by four upper-caste Thakur men, when he was arrested, according to The Wire. The FIR claimed that Kappan and others were involved in creating an Internet platform and website named “justiceforhathras,” which was intended to gather foreign funds and trigger caste riots, according to The Hindu.

Life and Activism

Siddique Kappan is a Malayali journalist who was arrested in October 2020 initially on terror and sedition charges. He was arrested while on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh after a Dalit woman had allegedly been gang-raped and murdered by four upper-caste men. On the night of his arrest, Kappan claims that he was “dragged and beaten with sticks on thighs, slapped on face, forced to stay awake from 6pm to 6am on the pretext of questioning and subjected to serious mental torture,” according to BBC. Kappan also said that he was denied medication for his Diabetes.

The Supreme Court granted Kappan bail in the UAPA case on September 9, 2022 but said that the Lucknow court addressing the UAPA matter would decide the conditions of Kappan’s bail, according to The Hindu. On December 23, Kappan was granted bail by the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court in the PMLA case. Kappan maintains that he “considers UA(P)A an illegal law that only aims to jail accused people illegally and indefinitely,” according to Maktoob Media.

Charges and Allegations

Siddique Kappan was charged with Section 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc.) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code, and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), according to The Hindu. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) charged Kappan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as well, claiming that he received money from the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI), according to India Today.

Current Status

Granted bail

Last Update

After 864 days in jail, Siddique Kappan was released in February 2023, according to India Today.

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