Journalist, three others detained on option to Hathras

Written by Somya Lakhani
, Avaneesh Mishra
, Amil Bhatnagar
| Lucknow, Mathura, New Delhi |

October 7, 2020 2:55:43 am

Journalist, three others detained on way to HathrasTight safety in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh on October 5, 2020. (Express File Photo by Praveen Khanna)

THE UTTAR Pradesh Police detained 4 males — together with a 41-year-old Delhi-based journalist working with Malayalam information retailers — from a toll plaza in Mathura on Monday afternoon. Police claimed the lads are linked to the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its college students’ organisation Campus Front of India (CFI), and had been on their option to Hathras.

The journalist has been recognized as Siddique Kappan, secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) who writes for Malayalam information web sites like azhimukham.com. He is at the moment in preventive custody of Mathura police. Apart from Kappan, CFI workplace bearers Atiq-ur-Rahman and Masood Ahmed have been detained together with one other particular person recognized as Alam.

While Kappan hails from Kerala and has been residing in Delhi’s Nizamuddin space for years, Rahman is from Muzaffarnagar, Ahmed from Bahraich, and Alam from Rampur.

Police mentioned the 4 males had been on their option to Hathras, the place a 19-year-old Dalit girl was assaulted and allegedly gangraped by 4 upper-caste males on September 14. She died at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on September 29.

“During questioning, the lads mentioned they had been travelling from Delhi to Hathras to fulfill the sufferer’s household, and needed to lift the voice of the household and supply them ‘justice’,” mentioned a senior police officer in Mathura.

“During a test at Maant toll plaza on Monday morning, we discovered the motion of a Swift Dzire automotive suspicious. We questioned the 4 individuals they usually had been taken into preventive arrest beneath CrPC Section 151. It seems that they had been heading in the direction of Hathras. While no FIR has been filed towards them, they mentioned they’re associated to PFI and CFI throughout questioning,” Gaurav Grover, SSP Mathura, informed The Indian Express.

Mathura Police claimed to have seized materials from laptops, telephones in addition to literature associated to protests which might have “impacted” legislation and order within the space.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Okay N Ashok, editor of the information portal azhimukham.com, mentioned: “Kappan has been writing for us on Delhi-NCR since January. On Monday, he texted me saying that he’s going to Hathras for a narrative. I don’t know who the three individuals accompanying him are. We tried calling him yesterday night however we couldn’t get by. Later, we came upon that he has been detained by Mathura police.”

Kappan and his spouse, Rehana, have three kids aged 18, 12 and seven years previous. Speaking to The Indian Express from Mallappuram, Rehana mentioned: “I final spoke to him late Sunday night time about some development work happening at dwelling. On Monday, I referred to as him and left WhatsApp messages however didn’t get a response. Around eight am Tuesday, I bought a name from a staffer at azhimukham.com, who knowledgeable me that my husband had been detained.”

Kappan was detained from the toll plaza round 2 pm, mentioned journalist Manikantan, former secretary of KUWJ. “Kappan began writing for azhimukham.com this 12 months. He has no affiliation with PFI. Earlier, he used to put in writing for Thejas, which is a mouthpiece of PFI. It closed down in 2018 resulting from a monetary disaster and he misplaced his job. Then he began working for an additional newspaper referred to as Thalsamayam, which too shut down final 12 months,” mentioned Manikantan.

Meanwhile, the Delhi unit of KUWJ has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Kappan’s detention. “We have filed a habeas corpus petition within the Supreme Court towards the unlawful detention of a journalist who was doing his job… The Constitution of our nation protects the liberty of press. Kappan’s arrest is a breach of Constitutional values,” the Delhi unit of the Union mentioned.

The letter to the UP CM, signed by KUWJ president Miji Jose, mentioned, “He is the secretary of KUWJ… and had gone to Hathras Monday morning to cowl the current state of affairs within the space… We perceive that he was taken into police custody by UP Police from Hathras toll plaza. Our efforts and the efforts by some advocates primarily based in Delhi to contact him weren’t profitable.”

As per the assertion, Hathras police has not offered any data relating to Kappan’s whereabouts. “Kappan was making an attempt to do his responsibility as a reporter. We urge you to get him launched on the earliest,” it mentioned.

The Press Club of India too launched a press release saying that Kappan ought to be “launched immediately”. “It is our apprehension that the Yogi Adityanath authorities, in keeping with its clearly said conspiracy concept as rationalization for the tragic Hathras incident, will make use of diversionary ways to take the main target away from the various suspicious, presumably legal actions of its police and administration and the digital silence of the political management on the Hathras tragedy,” it mentioned.

In Bahraich, Additional SP Okay Gyananjay Singh mentioned: “The youth recognized as Masood Ahmed (23) is a resident of Jarwal locality. Organisations akin to PFI, CFI and SDPI work on related ideology of inciting spiritual rigidity, conspire to riots, disrupt peace. This particular person has been detained in Mathura; up to now too, we’ve got made a number of arrests from Jarwal locality of individuals related to PFI and SDPI for making an attempt to provoke riots through the Bhoomi Pujan on the Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya.”

“These individuals are energetic on social media and add others who don’t even know what they’re being made part of. We may also set up hyperlinks of the individuals arrested. If we discover any hyperlink of international funding, the investigating businesses shall be added within the inquiry,” he mentioned. He mentioned Ahmed doesn’t have any case registered towards him up to now.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Ahmed’s elder brother, Mohsin, mentioned they didn’t know why he had been detained. “He was in Bahraich for the previous few months, making ready for UGC-NET, however left round 10 days again as he was not getting the specified atmosphere right here… He did his Master’s in Mass Communication from Delhi after finishing his commencement from Eklavya Mahavidyalaya in Bahraich,” mentioned Mohsin.

Ahmed is the youngest of three brothers; Mohsin runs a Jan Sewa Kendra, whereas the oldest brother, Monis, works in Delhi. Their father runs a common retailer within the locality.

“The detention of Atiq-ur-Rahman and Masood Ahmed, who’re workplace bearers of CFI, together with journalist Kappan, is very deplorable. The group was heading to Hathras to fulfill the sufferer’s household. The unlawful detention exhibits that beneath the Yogi authorities, even intending to fulfill household of victims is taken into account a criminal offense. To conceal the failed legislation and order state of affairs, the BJP authorities has tried to hyperlink the PFI to the protests which can be occurring throughout the nation… PFI won’t be intimidated by such ways of suppression… We demand the rapid launch of the CFI leaders and journalist Kappan,” mentioned PFI’s common secretary Anis Ahmed.

In a separate case, an FIR was registered in Mathura on Monday towards CFI members beneath CrPC Section 151, in response to which “a police officer, understanding of a design to commit any cognizable offence, could arrest, with out orders from a Justice of the Peace and with out a warrant, the particular person so designing”.

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