» News » Sidhique Kappan walks out of jail 'after a lot of fight'

Sidhique Kappan walks out of jail 'after a lot of fight'

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: February 02, 2023 22:31 IST
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Kerala journalist Sidhique Kappan walked out of jail on bail Thursday, over two years after he was arrested for allegedly trying to instigate violence after the death of a woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras.

IMAGE: Journalist Sidhique Kappan poses for photos following his release from the Lucknow District Jail, on Thursday, February 2, 2023. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo

The release came almost six weeks after Allahabad high court granted him bail in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.

In September, the Supreme Court granted him bail in another case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Kappan was released from jail around 9.15 am, Lucknow district prison jailor Rajendra Singh told PTI.


A day earlier, his lawyer submitted two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each at the special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court here, fulfilling a bail condition.

"I struggled," Kappan said minutes after he walked out to camera crews, a small curious crowd -- and to his wife and teen son, waiting patiently.

"It has been 28 months. I am out after a lot of fight. I am happy," he said.

Speaking to PTI, the journalist added, "I am coming to Delhi. I have to stay there for six weeks."

The Supreme Court bench headed by then Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit had directed Kappan to remain in Delhi for six weeks after his release from prison.

Kappan and three others were arrested in October 2020 while they were going to Hathras where a Dalit woman died allegedly after being raped.

Asked about the purpose of his visit to Hathras, Kappan told the assembled reporters that he had gone there for 'reporting'.

About those who had accompanied him, he said they were students.

Questioned on recoveries made from him, Kappan told the media, "Nothing... I had only a laptop and mobile."

Asked about reports that some objectionable materials were also found on him, he said, "Two pens and a notepad."

Police had alleged that Kappan had links with the now-banned Popular Front of India and charged him under the UAPA and sections of the Indian Penal Code.

During his two and a half years in jail, his mother died.

"Her name was Kadijah. She is not there to see Kappan coming home," his wife Raihana told PTI.

IMAGE: Kappan with his wife Raihana and son Muzammil following his release. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo

"The Supreme Court granted bail in the UAPA case and his innocence was revealed. Two and a half years is not a short time. We have experienced a lot of pain and suffering.

"But I am happy that justice, though belated, has been served," she said.

"I repeat that Kappan is a media person," Raihana said.

The couple has three children -- Muzammil (19), Zidhan (14) and Mehnaz (nine).

"Our children are waiting to welcome him home. Their happiness was taken away. Can they forget their father? They are proud to say that Siddique Kappan, a journalist, is their father."

According to Kappan's lawyer Mohamed Dhanish KS, the journalist had been lodged in the Mathura and Lucknow district jails and had been out twice -- once when he got Covid and was admitted at AIIMS, Delhi, and the second time to meet his ailing mother.

In September last year, the Supreme Court granted him bail in connection with the UAPA case. But he remained in jail because of the money laundering case.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court granted him bail in the second case on December 23.

Following his release, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram expressed happiness that 'eventually Article 21 of the Constitution has triumphed'.

Article 21 of the Constitution deals with the right to protection of life and personal liberty.

"I am glad that eventually Article 21 of the Constitution has triumphed and Siddique Kappan, the journalist from Kerala, is free.

"Trial Court judges must push back on the demand for judicial custody which is really pre-trial incarceration," the former home minister said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.