A day after a Delhi-based journalist hailing from Kerala, who was detained by UP police along with three others, was booked under the UAPA, two MPs from the state Thursday wrote to PM Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to ensure his release.
In their letters, Congress Lok Sabha MP from Chalakudy Benny Behanan and CPI’s Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam argued that UP police has flouted all guidelines laid out by the Supreme Court regarding arrest in the case of Siddique Kappan, secretary of the Delhi unit of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists and who is associated with various Malayalam news outlets, including website azhimukham.com.
Pointing out that Kappan was doing his duty as a reporter, Behanan said UP police has given a clear message to the media that “objective reporting will not be allowed in the state.” Viswam said: “Freedom of press is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy and arrest of a reputed senior journalist like Kappan on terror charges is a direct attack on this freedom…”
According to the FIR filed in Maant police station, Kappan, along with Campus Front of India office-bearers Atiq-ur-Rahman and Masood Ahmed, and a man identified as Alam, were booked for alleged “conspiracy behind their visit to Hathras”. The FIR alleged they were trying to invoke riots and threaten law and order and social harmony.
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