The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea moved by journalist Siddique Kappan, who was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) when he was heading to Hathras, UP, to report on the brutal rape and murder of a minor Dalit girl.
Justice Krishan Pahal rejected Kappan’s plea against a Sessions Court order. The case status on the high court website shows that the plea has been “dismissed on merits”.
Kappan was arrested in October of 2020 and is currently lodged in a jail in Uttar Pradesh.
Kappan, who wrote for Malayalam publications, was arrested along with three others while travelling to Hathras to cover the gang rape and murder of a minor Dalit girl. They were travelling in a car when the UP police stopped them at the Hathras toll plaza.
Kappan’s prolonged trial received global condemnation. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists, which has advocated for Kappan, has repeatedly alleged that the journalist has been jailed under inhuman conditions.
In July last year, the journalist filed a bail plea which was rejected by a sessions court in Mathura. On February 21, 2022, Kappan filed another bail plea in the Allahabad High Court.
Kappan was also diagnosed with COVID-19. Seeing his deteriorating health, the Supreme Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide the journalist with better medical treatment.