Mathura court drops charges against Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, others

Siddique Kappan
Siddique Kappan was arrested with three others while they were on their way to Hathras to meet the family of a Dalit girl, who was allegedly gang-raped and murdered.

Mathura: A court here dropped proceedings on charges related to apprehension of breach of peace against Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and three others on Tuesday as the police failed to complete the inquiry against them within the prescribed period of six months, the defence counsel said.

Kappan and his alleged associates, who were suspected to be linked to the radical group Popular Front of India (PFI), were arrested on October 5 when they were covering the aftermath of the gangrape-murder of a girl in Hathras village.

They were arrested on the apprehension of causing a breach of peace but were later slapped with stringent charges of sedition and violation of anti-terror law UAPA and Information Technology Act.

Sub Divisional Magistrate, Maant, Ram Datt Ram, on Tuesday discharged accused Atikurrahman, Aalam, journalist Siddique Kappan and  Masood arrested under sections 151, 107, 116 CrPC on October 5, 2020, by Maan police, defence counsel Madhuban Datt Chaturvedi said.

As the limitation for completing proceedings under section 116 (6) CrPC has expired, the proceedings against the four accused are dropped, the order of the magistrate said.

The accused are in jail since October 7 last year in another case under sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups...), 295A (outraging religious feelings), 124A (sedition), 120B (conspiracy) of IPC, 17/18 of UAPA (raising funds for the terrorist act) and under the IT Act.

The police arrested the four accused and alleged that they were having links with PFI and intended to stoke unrest in Hathras.

(With inputs from PTI)

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