Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan, who was in jail for the past 27 months under the charges of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), finally walked out of Lucknow's district jail on Thursday (February 2) morning. A special court in Lucknow signed his release order more than five weeks after he was given the bail in the PMLA case lodged by the ED.
Kappan was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police in October 2020 while he was on his way to Hathras to report on the gangrape of a Dalit girl. The journalist's car was stopped by UP police at a toll plaza in Mathura and he was detained along with three other people.
The FIR registered against him mentioned charges of Section 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religion beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code and the UAPA. Later the ED charged Kappan under the PMLA act.
What Kappan said after his release: The journalist sported a smile as he walked out of the Lucknow jail at around 9.15 am. Interacting with the reporters outside the jail, Kappan said: "It has been 28 months. I am out after a lot of fight. I am happy."
Who is Kappan: Kappan originally hails from Malappuram in Kerala and he worked as a reporter for the Malayalam news website Azhimukham. He also held the post of secretary in the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ).