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Journalist Siddique Kappan Denied Bail By Allahabad High Court

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday rejected the bail application of journalist Siddique Kappan who was booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in Hathras conspiracy case. A single bench of Justice Krishan Pahal passed the rejection order on Thursday.

Prior to this, the bench had reserved its order on August 2 after conclusion of arguments by the counsels of the accused and the state.

A Mathura court had rejected Siddique Kappan’s bail plea after which he had approached the High Court.

Siddique Kappan, a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020 while on his way to Hathras to report on the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.

The police had claimed that the accused were trying to disturb the law and order in Hathras. They had also alleged that the accused had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI).

The woman had died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after her alleged rape by four men from her village on September 14, 2020. She was cremated in the middle of the night in her village.

Her family members claimed that the cremation, which took place well past midnight, was without their consent and that they were not allowed to bring home the body one last time.

Siddique Kappan and others were charged under Sections 17 and 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Section 124A (sedition), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of Indian Penal Code and Sections 65, 72 and 75 of the Information Technology Act.

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