UP Police affidavit absurd, attempt to mislead SC: Popular Front


By Muslim Mirror

Popular Front of India General Secretary Anis Ahmed, in his latest statement, has rubbished the claims in the affidavit filed by the UP Police in the Supreme Court opposing the bail plea filed by journalist Siddique Kappan. He called Uttar Pradesh Police’s claims absurd and an attempt to mislead the court.
Earlier, the State of Uttar Pradesh opposed Siddiqui Kappan’s application for bail before the Supreme Court, arguing that he was a part of a bigger plot to foment terrorism throughout the nation. The news broke after a bench led by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit last week gave the UP government a notice on the imprisoned journalist’s bail request.


The State claimed that Kappan had close personal ties to PFI’s senior leadership and a close connection to the organisation. They claimed that Kappan’s petition should be rejected merely for making misleading representations and omitting important information.

According to the UP government, Kappan had close ties to PFI, its Campus Front of India (CFI) chapters, and its senior officials, including P Koya, a former SIMI member, PFI executive member, and editor-in-chief of Thejas.

Reacting to the statement, Anis Ahmed said, “Uttar Pradesh Police stands exposed for what they are. The entire world is now aware of how UP STF used innocent students and Journalist Siddique Kappan as sacrificial lambs to divert popular outrage over Hathras gangrape and murder incident and the appalling way authorities handled it.”

“Popular Front is a lawfully and democratically working organization. Associating with it is not a crime. In an attempt to prevent justice for the innocents UP Police is portraying Popular Front as an organization with terror links. It simply shows how far-fetched and baseless the case is and how desperate UP Police are in providing evidence for their claims. Now, these innocents have already completed two years in prison, not because there is a shred of truth in the UP Police’s story but because of the draconian charges slapped on them.” He said.

Anis also said that the organization hopes that the apex court “put an end to the unjust imprisonment of Siddique Kappan and other innocents falsely implicated in the Hathras case.”

On October 5, 2020, Kappan and three other people were detained in Mathura while their route to Hathras, where a Dalit lady had allegedly been gangraped and murdered. They were detained on allegations of sedition and under the UAPA.

The STF attempted to refute Kappan’s assertion that he was engaged by the website “Azhimukham,” which had “deputed” him to travel to Hathras and report on the occurrence, by stating, “the statement of the Editor of Azhimukham…nowhere states that the said publication had deputed the petitioner to cover the Hathras incident; it merely states that the petitioner had at 12.10am on 5.10.2022, sent the office a WhatsApp message that he is going to Hathras”.

It added that “the official Twitter handle of the CFI had tweeted in February 2021: Campus Front delegation was arrested en route to Hathras and falsely charged with draconian laws…”.

Kappan claimed that no evidence had been found against him, which the state referred to as being “patently untrue.”

Two pamphlets were discovered by the UP police during his detention in the car he was riding in. “Justice for the Hathras victim” was the title of the first, which was 17 pages long. “Am I Not India’s Daughter?” was the title of the second, which was 11 pages long.

Both pamphlets, in the state’s opinion, are merely “a ‘Rioting 101’ for rioters,” instructing them on how to “conceal themselves from the police.”

Kappan claimed in the application that he had worked in Saudi Arabia between 2006 and 2011, although he did not specify his company.

In 2011, he went back to Kerala. He allegedly said in his testimony to the police that he joined the Thejas newspaper in Kozhikode as a sub-editor upon his return because “since he was very passionate about journalism.”

On his confiscated laptop, Kappan’s curriculum vitae was allegedly discovered, according to the state’s affidavit. His resume states that he worked for Thejas in Delhi from 2014 to 2018, Mangalam in Kerala in 2013, and Gulf Thejas Daily in Jeddah from 2009 to 2018. He was employed for the Malayalam news outlet Azhimukham, situated in Thiruvananthapuram, at the time of his arrest.

The Popular Front of India established Thejas, a Malayalam journal. Its print version was discontinued in 2018, although it was still published online and as a magazine.

The state used a cover article on Osama Bin Laden’s death that appeared in the Jeddah edition of Thejas in May 2011 in support of their opposition to Kappan’s bail. According to reports, the term “martyr” and a verse from the Quran that approximately translates to: “Do not think they are dead; the people who killed in the way of Allah; they are living with Allah; they are provided resources (gifts)”.

“They are presenting Siddique’s official resume as evidence they found and claiming that he was trying to ‘cover up’ his job in Saudi.” An Azhimukham official was quoted as saying by Newslaundry.

The case was scheduled for ultimate disposition on September 9 by a bench that included Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat.

“The heart of the allegation is that that PFI put 45,000 for terrorist activities. No evidence, no nothing, just allegations,” Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Kappan submitted to the top court.

“PFI is not a terrorist organization. PFI is not a banned organization. I am a journalist. I was going to Hathras to cover the case. What has happened is that I was working with a newspaper with PFI. I don’t work there anymore.”

Meanwhile, Mohammad Alam, the co-accused cab driver who was also charged with Kappan, was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on August 23. Incriminating material was found in Kappan’s possession, according to the bail order, while none was found in Alam’s possession.


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