The Kerala Union of Working Journalists has filed a rejoinder seeking an independent inquiry into the the "illegal" arrest and detention of journalist Siddique Kappan. The union asked that the inquiry be conducted by a retired Supreme Court judge to assess the facts of the case, LiveLaw .
Kappan, 41, was arrested in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, on October 5 and booked for sedition and under the draconian anti-terrorism law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, or UAPA. He was on his way to Hathras to report on the alleged rape and murder of a Dalit teenager by upper caste Thakur men. Kappan was travelling with three other men – Athikur Rehman, Alam and Masood – who were also detained and charged with the same offences.
The affidavit pointed out that the Uttar Pradesh police's arrest memo incorrectly specified Kappan's time of arrest as 4.50 pm instead of 10.20 am. It also said the government has false claimed that it had recovered "incriminating material/pamphlets" from Kappan.
The affidavit said: “The arrest...and the rest of the illegal proceedings were based on some instructions, details of which are unknown to the petitioner. There was no recovery of incriminating pamphlets as alleged."
The union also alleged that Kappan had been "beaten with lathi three times on his thigh, slapped three times on his thigh, slapped three times after taking out the spectacles, dragged, forced to stay awake from 6 pm to 6 am depriving him of the sleep, without proper medicines, along with serious mental torture.”
In a previous hearing last month, the court had refused to hear a plea for Kappan's release; instead, it had deferred the hearing.
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