April 26, 2021 4:22:45 am
KERALA CHIEF Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday wrote to his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath, seeking his intervention to shift jailed journalist Siddique Kappan, who has tested positive for Covid and is admitted to a Mathura hospital, to a super-specialty hospital since he is facing “severe health problems”.
His letter came hours after Raihana, Kappan’s wife, wrote to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, saying the journalist’s health is in grave danger. In the letter sent through her lawyer, Raihana claimed Kappan has been tied to a hospital bed and is not being able to take food or use toilet for the past four days.
“It is reported that he [Kappan] is having diabetes and heart ailments. After getting infected with Covid-19, he has been admitted to KVM Hospital, Mathura. He is reportedly being kept chained to his bed even when his health condition is precarious. I request your good self to intervene in the matter so that a humane treatment is accorded to Kappan,” Vijayan wrote to Adityanath.
“Expert health care, necessary for him, may also be seriously considered by shifting him to another super-specialty hospital, where modern life-saving facilities are ensured. People in general and the media fraternity in particular are anxious to know about his predicament and human rights and are very much concerned about his plight. I request you to make sure that he gets all medical facilities,” Vijayan added.
Eleven MPs from Kerala too have written to the Chief Justice of India, seeking an urgent hearing of a petition to shift Kappan to AIIMS. The MPs — K Sudhakaran, K Muraleedharan, E T Mohammed Basheer, V K Sreekandan, Ramya Haridas, Benny Behanan, T N Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, Anto Antony, N K Premachandran and P V Abdul Wahab – said: “Kappan sustained serious injuries after he fell unconscious in Mathura jail. He is suffering from Covid-19 and has been admitted in the Mathura Medical College Hospital. His condition is serious and he needs better treatment.”
“We, therefore, implore you to save Kappan’s life by giving him an urgent hearing in the matter requesting for the issue of necessary orders to shift him from Mathura Medical College Hospital to AIIMS, Delhi,” they said. “This very moment, Kappan is battling the coronavirus at its severity. Unable to consume food and with denied right to a toilet for four days, he has become extremely weak. It is shocking beyond words that such grave violation of human rights is happening in our India, a democracy.”
In her plea submitted through advocate Wills Mathews, Kappan’s wife said he is “chained like an animal to a cot of the Medical College Hospital, Mathura, without mobility, and he could neither take food nor go to the toilet for the last more than four days, and is very critical. If immediate corrective steps are not taken, it will result in his untimely death”.
When contacted, Mathura Jail Superintendent Shailendra Maitreyi told The Indian Express, “He is currently at the Covid centre for Mathura district. Her allegation can’t be right. The Medical College is constantly inspected by district officials. I have his status report till yesterday, in which the hospital said his condition is stable and oxygen level is 96. Although he is diabetic, his blood sugar level is also normal according to the written status report.”
Kappan was arrested in connection with an alleged conspiracy to incite religious enmity over the Hathras incident in which a Dalit woman was killed last September after being allegedly gang-raped. While the UP police have alleged that Kappan was part of the conspiracy to disrupt peace in Hathras, his lawyer maintains he was going to report on the case. —Inputs from ENS, Lucknow
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