Journalists stage protest in Delhi, seek release of Siddique Kappan
Members of various journalist unions staged a demonstration outside the Press Club of India (PCI) here on Tuesday demanding immediate release of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan who has been charged by the Uttar Pradesh Police with terror offences.
"Today, we have organised this programme to mark completion of one year of Kappan being in jail. He was arrested even before going to the spot. Till date he is behind bars. We are fighting for free media. There should be no curb on media if someone is going on a spot to report," said PCI president Umakant Lakhera.
"Spot and investigative reporting is dying day by day. We are appealing to the highest judiciary of the country to release Kappan and to quash the charges against him," he added.
Members of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), PCI and the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) joined the protest.
Kappan and three others were arrested by the Mathura police in Uttar Pradesh on October 5 last year when they were on their way to a village in Hathras to meet the family members of a Dalit girl who had died after being gang-raped.
The four were arrested on the apprehension of causing a breach of peace, but were later slapped with stringent charges of sedition and being involved in various terror offences.
DUJ general secretary Sujata Madhok said, "We have gathered here today because it has been one year since the jailing of Kappan and others who were accompanying him and were not journalists.... The judiciary must take action. You cannot indefinitely jail people."