By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: Main opposition Congress on Monday took strong exception to the UP authorities’s “inhuman’ treatment of arrested journalist Siddique Kappan who has been tested positive for Coivd-19. Congress asked the UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath to provide all basic facilities to him.
Congress’s all powerful general secretary KC VenuGopal, who also hails from Kerala’ wrote a letter to UP CM Adityanath and drew his attention towards the critical condition of r journalist Siddique Kappan.
Kerala journalist Kappan has been incarcerated for more than six months under the draconian UAPA for going to cover the gang-rape and murder of Dalit girl in UP’s Hatras district last year. His wife Rihana Siddique has alleged that he is ”chained like an animal in a cot of the hospital” and has been denied the right to go to the toilet for several days in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura.
In his letter, Congress leader VenuGopal said it is shocking to note that Kappan is being denied basic human rights and he is handcuffed and chained to his bed making him unable to have his meals properly or even use the bathroom for the last few days.
VenuGopal said it is a serious violation of basic rights of an under -trial prisoner and demanded the UP government to course correction. It is for the first time the Congress raised voice on the arrest of journalist Kappan.
Earlier Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday dispatched a letter to his UP counterpart asking him to release Kappan on interim bail as his health condition is very serious.
In his letter, Vijayan said, ”It has been brought to my attention by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists and some prominent media persons of national repute that Shri Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala presently in custody under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, is facing severe health problems,”
The journalist, who is reported to have diabetes and heart ailments, was admitted to KVM Hospital in Mathura after he contracted the Covid-19 infection