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Kerala Journalist Siddique Kappan Granted Bail After Two Years

© Photo : Social mediaSiddique Kappan
Siddique Kappan  - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.02.2023
Kappan was one of many held while en route to Hathras town in Uttar Pradesh state purportedly to report on a young Dalit woman's death after an alleged gang rape in October 2020.
Indian journalist Siddique Kappan was granted bail from Lucknow District Jail on Thursday morning.
He had spent over two years behind bars on terror and money laundering charges filed by Uttar Pradesh Police.

Speaking to Indian media, Kappan said that getting bail was a “long fight”.

Why Was Kappan Imprisoned?

In October 2020, a 20-year-old Dalit woman was found dead at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped. The news sparked nationwide outrage.
The woman's body was taken to her native village in Hathras and cremated in the middle of the night by the district administration, which triggered allegations that the local authorities were trying to cover up her case.

Kappan, who was going to Hathras to cover the incident along with some other people, was arrested midway as police alleged he intended to trigger communal violence on orders from the banned People's Front of India (PFI).

Last year, PFI was declared a militant and extremist Muslim organization and banned for five years in the country.
Police allege that Kappan and others accused in the case are members of PFI's student wing, Campus Front of India (CFI). Based on that allegation, they initiated sedition charges under the anti-terror law.
In February 2022, the Enforcement Directorate likewise filed a money laundering case against him, accusing him of receiving money from the banned PFI.
While Kappan was granted bail in the terror case in September last year, he remained in jail in Lucknow due to the pending money laundering case.

Speaking to media about the allegations leveled by the police against him, Kappan said, “I had gone to do reporting there (in Hathras). What is wrong in that?… Nothing was found on me except my laptop and mobile phone. I had two pens and a notebook too.”

Kappan, who lost his mother while he was in jail, is planning to go to Delhi with his wife and son and stay there for six weeks.