Mathura court denies bail to journos arrested on way to Hathras

Arrested initially on suspicion of being a threat to the peace, the case of four scribes, was initially probed by the Crime Branch of Mathura police but was later transferred to the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force.

Mathura: Mathura court on Friday dismissed the bail plea of three persons, booked on charges of sedition and terrorism after their arrest here along with a Kerala journalist on their way to a Hathras village to meet the family of a Dalit woman who had died after her gangrape.

Additional District Judge Mayur Jain rejected the bail pleas of Atiqur Rahman, Aalam and Masood saying the charges against the accused are serious and they cannot be enlarged on bail at this juncture when the investigation into the case is still going on.

Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan has not moved any court for the bail till now.

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District prosecution counsel Shiv Ram Singh said the court rejected the bail application of the trio after hearing arguments of both prosecution and defence sides for four days.

Journalist Kappan and three others were arrested by Mathura police on October 5, while they were on their way to a village in Hathras to meet the family members of the Dalit girl, who had died in a Delhi hospital while undergoing treatment after a gangrape in her village.

Arrested initially on suspicion of being a threat to the peace, the four were booked two days later on a slew of stringent charges, including those of sedition and terrorism, and were sent to a Mathura jail under the judicial custody.

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The case was initially probed by the Crime Branch of Mathura police but was later transferred to the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force.

After the rejection of the bail plea of the three, their defence counsel Madhuban Datt Chaturvedi told PTI that his clients would now move the high court for bail.

He said his client Atiqur Rahman was denied bail although he is suffering from a serious ailment.

The court gave weightage only to the prosecution version, ignoring the defence counsel’s argument, he said.

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