The wife of Siddique Kappan, a Delhi based Journalist, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on October 5, while he was on his way to report the alleged Hathras gang-rape and murder of a 19- year old Dalit woman, has demanded that her husband be released from jail.
“What is his crime? I want to see him at least once, even if it means through a video call. Kappan is diabetic and we are in the dark about his current health condition. Even our lawyers were not allowed to meet him. I am losing my will and courage,” says Rahyanath.
“The Supreme Court granted permission to my husband to speak to his mother after we moved a petition. But I could not speak to him so far. Our lawyers were unable to meet him. Without getting his signature we cannot file a bail application. We are really concerned about his health.
We heard certain news reports that Kappan received Rs one crore from somewhere. But those spreading rumours ignore the fact that our house has been under construction for the last eight years. We used to save from his salary and the construction has now been halted,” Rahyanath said.
“They have charged him under the UAPA for going to report the death of a 19-year-old. It seems like a political plot against my husband. I will fight till justice is served. He is the sole breadwinner of my family. We don’t know what all charges will be added now,” she said, PTI reported.
Eight days after his arrest, in a rare hearing during a holiday recess, India’s Supreme Court granted bail to right-wing TV presenter Arnab Goswami, but critics have accused the top court of failing to show the same urgency for other jailed journalists.
The speedy hearing and bail given to the divisive TV presenter has brought into focus cases of other journalists and activists who are undergoing or have gone through prolonged periods of imprisonment due to judicial delays.
In its order, the court said, “We must send a message today to the high courts as well. Please exercise your jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty … if this court were not to interfere today, we are travelling on a path of destruction of personal liberty undeniably”.