The Uttar Pradesh Police’s Special task Force Saturday filed a nearly 5,000-page chargesheet against journalist Siddique Kappan and seven others in a Mathura court, charging them with sedition and conspiring to incite caste violence, among others, following the Hathras gangrape and murder.
While the state police claim he was part of a conspiracy to disrupt peace in the area, his lawyers maintain he was going to report on the case involving a 19-year-old Dalit woman. He has been charged under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and 295A (outraging sentiments), the stringent UAPA, and relevant sections of the IT Act.
The chargesheet, prepared by the Noida wing of UP Special Task Force, was submitted in Mathura Additional District Judge’s Court on Saturday. Besides Kappan, the others named in it are PFI members Atiqur Rahman, Masood Ahmed, Rauf Sharif, Ansad Badruddin and Firoz Khan.
One Alam, who was driving Kappan at the time, and his relative Mohammad Danish, have also been named.
Danish has obtained interim stay from arrest, while the others are in judicial custody.
“The court took cognizance of the chargesheet which is approximately 5,000 pages long. The documents contain details of our investigation and our findings against the persons who were arrested while on their way to Hathras and others,” said Vinod Sirohi, an STF official.
Officials said the chargesheet lists more than 50 witnesses to support the police charges. It says the accused wanted to cause law and order problems in the region amid the protests over the rape and murder, it is learnt.
The next date of hearing has been fixed for May 1, and the court has issued notice to Danish for appearance, said district government counsel, Mathura, Shivram Singh.
On October 5, Kappan, journalist along with PFI officials Rahman and Ahmed, and driver Alam were detained by Mathura Police while on their way to Hathras. A case of sedition had been filed in Mathura against them.
While Kappan hails from Kerala and has been living in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area for years, Rahman is from Muzaffarnagar, Ahmed from Bahraich, and Alam from Rampur.
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