International media watchdog demands Kappan’s release after Mathura court drops various charges against him

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Siddique Kappan

By Muslim Mirror Staff

New Delhi: Committee to Protect Journalists, a US-based organisation, has called for the release of scribe Siddique Kappan who has been languishing in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura jail since September 2020.

On 16 June 2021, a Mathura court dropped breach of peace charges against him and three others who were arrested along with him when they were on the way to a village in Hathras district to see the family of a Dalit girl who had died due to rape and torture by upper caste men.

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“The Mathura court’s decision to drop the breach of peace charge against Indian journalist Siddique Kappan suggests that police officers’ accusations about him were bogus from the start,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, in Washington, D.C. “The Uttar Pradesh government should do the right thing by withdrawing all the remaining charges and setting Kappan free at once,” The CPJ said.

The CPJ quoted Kappan’s lawyer Wills Matthew as saying that the state is still pursuing the other charges, and is investigating claims that the journalist violated the country’s anti-terror law. CPJ texted Uttar Pradesh Police Director-General Hitesh Awasthy for comment but did not receive any reply.

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