* The “pamphlets so recovered i.e. AM I NOT INDIA’S DAUGHTER… etc have an effect of amplifying social hostility and public revolt”.
* Accused have revealed they “gathered funds” to “instigate rioting on basis of caste” in connection with the Hathras case, “as they have done on the basis of religion in protest of CAA”.
* Accused created a website using web platform ‘Carrd’; “Many kinds of anti-national propaganda are being spread in India through such kind of websites viz. propaganda relating to incidents of mob lynching, migration of labours in recent times.”
These submissions of the Uttar Pradesh Police in official records — the FIR, remand applications seeking custody — regarding the case registered against Delhi-based journalist Siddique Kappan and three others, are part of the state government’s affidavit before the Supreme Court in response to a petition seeking release of Kappan from custody.
The four men were arrested in Mathura on October 5 while on their way to Hathras where a 19-year-old Dalit girl had been allegedly gangraped, leading to her death in a Delhi hospital. They were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and various sections of the IPC including one relating to the charge of sedition.
The police submissions form part of an affidavit filed by Senior Superintendent of Jail, District Jail Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, after a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde sought responses from the Centre and UP government last Monday.
In its affidavit, the UP government mentioned three broad grounds on why the petition for Kappan’s release was not maintainable:
It said the Kerala Union of Working Journalists has no locus standi to file the petition since the accused is “already in touch with his lawyers and relatives and he himself can file proceedings through his lawyers”; Kappan, the state said, is “not in an illegal custody/confinement but is in judicial custody”; and the petition directly under Article 32 of the Constitution of India is “not maintainable and it is for the person in judicial custody who can approach the jurisdictional High Court namely High Court of Allahabad”.
“The person in custody namely Siddique Kappan is the Office Secretary of Popular Front of India (PFI) using a journalist cover by showing identity card of a Kerala-based newspaper named as ‘Tejas’ which was closed in 2018. It is revealed during investigation that he along with other PFI activists and their student wing (Campus Front of India) leaders were going to Hathras under the garb of Journalism with a very determined design to create a caste divide and disturb law and order situation were found carrying incriminating material,” the UP government submitted.
In the affidavit, the state made two key submissions: first, that “during the investigation conducted so far, the evidence of the accused having links with banned organizations has emerged”; second, “as the investigation is going on by the Special Task Force, the facts which have emerged so far are not filed in the present Affidavit”.
The police have also filed lower court records, the FIR and the general diary entry which provide details of how the prosecution has built its case.
* “…investigating officer… has presented an application… accused persons have revealed over to the former investigation officer that they have gathered funds from various known, unknown sources wants to instigate rioting on the basis of caste in connection with Hathras case through print/electronic medium, as they have done on the basis of religion in protest of CAA,” Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mathura, stated in order dated November.
“Accused person have admitted that they are member of PFI/CFI and this fact has also come to light from investigation that accused persons have relationship with the former members of banned SIMI organization,” the CJM recorded the submissions made by the STF.
“There are also allegations against accused person of spreading caste based and community based hatred in the society by making a website on the Internet,” the CJM court order stated.
* Details of this website, at the heart of the prosecution case, are in the FIR (translated copy) annexed to the affidavit before the Supreme Court.
The FIR states: “The pamphlets so-recovered i.e AM I NOT INDIA’S DAUGHTER, MADE WITH Carrd etc have an effect of amplifying social hostility and public revolt.”
“These people are indulged in collecting donation in its cover. This fact has also come to light that the people who are running a website named ‘Carrd.com’, are directly indulged in flaring up riots by affecting law and order… and social harmony using donations received from foreign countries.”
“This information has also been received that no valid procedure is being adopted in receiving such kind of donation amount and the medium through such donation amount is being received and this amount is worth confiscating. In this way, above website is using donations received from foreign countries.”
“The organisations and activities connected with the above website are doing so in order to gather crowd, spread rumour, collect donation in the cover of proving justice. Anti-national sentiments are being inculcated in youths through such kind of websites.”
“Many kinds of anti-national propaganda are being spread in India through such kind of websites viz. propaganda relating to incidents of mob lynching, migration of labours in recent times, extensive advertisement in support of separatists elements in Kashmir etc.”
“This website also explains the methods for spreading violence… and it also encourages common public in participating riots… Through aforesaid website, information that how identity of the person can be hidden during rioting, to participate in violence… this website also provides ways how to come out easily from the area after breach of its law and order.”
On Friday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government before the bench headed by CJI Bobde, denied claims made by the petitioner that Kappan had been denied access to his lawyer.
Mehta said there was no objection to Kappan meeting his lawyer in jail for the purpose of signing the vakalatnama.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioner, told the bench: “We went to the magistrate and requested to allow us to meet the accused… the magistrate told us to go to jail authorities, who then sent us back to the magistrate.”
During the hearing, Mehta also told the bench that the petitioner should approach the High Court. “Their bails were heard for nine days. I have filed a detailed reply, they should approach the High Court,” Mehta said.
The matter will be listed for hearing next week.
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