New Delhi: More than two years after he was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police while heading to the Hathras home of a young Dalit woman who died after an alleged gangrape, journalist Siddique Kappan was released from a Lucknow jail on February 2.
Lucknow Senior Jail Superintendent Ashish Tiwari confirmed that Kappan was released at 8.30 am. “All his paperwork was completed, and then he was released,” said Tiwari.
Kappan’s release comes more than a month after he was granted bail on December 23 by the Allahabad High Court in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
Speaking to the media after his release, Kappan said that it was a “long fight” to acquire bail and be released. “After 28 months and a long fight, I am out today. I got a lot of support from the media and I am happy,” he said.
Asked about the allegations levelled by the police against him, he said, “I had gone to do reporting there (in Hathras). What is wrong in that?…Nothing was found on me except my laptop and mobile phone. I had two pens and a notebook too.”
Kappan and three others were held in Mathura on October 5, 2020, while heading to Hathras.
Kappan had been granted bail by the Supreme Court on September 9 last year in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act case after being booked by the UP Police for alleged links with the radical Popular Front of India – the outfit and its affiliates were banned by the Centre on September 28.
While granting Kappan bail in the UAPA case, the Supreme Court inquired what exactly had been found against him, and also noted “the length of custody undergone”.