Siddique Kappan’s incarceration: His wife and children feel helpless, yet keep their hopes alive

CHENNAI: Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan continues to languish in Mathura jail with no access even to the chargesheet filed by the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police before a Mathura court.

A petition was filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) seeking a copy of the 5000-page charge sheet a few months ago. The union is still waiting for the court’s decision even as it contemplates its next course of action.

Kappan, who was devastated by his mother’s death and had plunged into a depressive mood, is lately showing signs of recovery, his wife Raihanath told The New Indian Express.

But for Saturdays, Siddique Kappan calls his wife daily and enquires about the family. The duration of time allocated for him to communicate with his family is five minutes.

“During the telephonic conversation, sometimes his voice sounds hopeful but on other days he sounds depressive,” Raihanath said.

After his mother’s death, there have been more deaths in the family. Some were brought to his notice while others were not revealed, she said.

Raihanath is saddened that no political leaders in Kerala have come forward to voice their support in favour of Kappan.

“When I met the chief minister he said he can’t do anything in this case. He can only express concern,” she recalled.

“We feel helpless. I keep on with the help of prayers,” she said.

Kappan and Raihanath have three children; two sons, and a daughter.

Raihanath said that she is sending them to school.

“Let them at least get some relief when they are in school,” she said.

Kappan, 41, the Delhi-based regular contributor for the Malayalam news outlet Azhimukham, was arrested along with a few others on October 5 last year while they were on their way to Hathras to report the brutal gang rape and murder of a Dalit girl by upper-caste men.

Kappan and three others, namely, Ateeq-ur-Rehman, Masood Ahmed, and Alam were traveling in a car when they were stopped by the UP police at the Hathras toll plaza and detained.

They were accused of planning to ‘foment trouble’ and booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other penal provisions.

The UP police claim that Kappan has links to the Popular Front of India (PFI), considered an extremist Islamic outfit, which KUWJ has outrightly denied. Kappan is an office-bearer of KUWJ’s Delhi unit. The BJP government led by Adityanath in UP claims that PFI had funded the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

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