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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

UP claims Siddique Kappan Qaida link

The affidavit bases some claims on the contents of a copy of a Word file, titled 'Sidhique Kappan Resume.docx' that it says was recovered from journo's laptop by Agra forensic laboratory

R. Balaji New Delhi Published 07.09.22, 02:04 AM
Siddique Kappan.

Siddique Kappan. File photo

The Uttar Pradesh government has opposed bail for journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested under the anti-terror law UAPA, telling the Supreme Court in an affidavit that it has material to prove his links with organisations connected to al Qaida.

“The investigation (detailed hereinafter) has revealed a close nexus and deep connection of the petitioner (Kappan) with the extremist PFI and its chapters including CFI, a close nexus with top leadership of PFI/ CFI (which is basically formed of ex-Simi members), who in turn have been found to have connections with al Qaida-linked organisations like IHH in Turkey,” the affidavit says.

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While the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is a banned organisation, the Popular Front of India (PFI), which many see as an extremist outfit, is not. The Campus Front of India (CFI) is the PFI’s student arm, while IHH is a Turkish NGO.

“An analysis of the WhatsApp chats between the petitioner and the said top leadership of PFI reveal that his relationship with them was not, as claimed, merely in relation with his so-called journalistic work with (PFI mouthpiece) Thejas, but rather, went much deeper, in which he warned them of government suspicions of PFI, discussed his ambitions, has written articles in other publications on the directions of such PFI members, and has in one chat specifically even admitted that he is a ‘PFI person’,” the affidavit says.

Kappan’s lawyers, family and colleagues from the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), which has been fighting a legal battle for his release, have denied any links between him and the PFI.The affidavit says the Delhi-based Malayalam-language journalist, arrested 23 months ago in Mathura on the charge of planning to foment caste unrest, has admitted to having worked formerly for PFI mouthpiece Thejas, and also for the Gulf Thejas Daily in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for sometime from 2009.

The affidavit was moved through the state government’s standing counsel, Ruchira Goel, after the apex court on August 29 asked the state to file its reply on Kappan’s bail plea. The matter is scheduled to be heard on September 9 by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit.

Allahabad High Court had dismissed Kappan’s bail plea on August 2.Kappan was travelling in a taxi to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, to avowedly cover the gang rape and murder of a Dalit teenager when he, two co-travellers belonging to the PFI and the driver were arrested in Mathura on October 5, 2020.“…There are serious threats and trolling of the public witnesses against the petitioner, and release of the petitioner on bail would further the likelihood of harm being caused to such witnesses,” the affidavit says.

The affidavit apparently bases some of its claims on the contents of a copy of a Word file, titled “Sidhique Kappan Resume.docx”, that it says was recovered from the journalist’s laptop by the Agra forensic laboratory.

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