Indian journalist Siddique Kappan has been released from prison more than two years after being arrested while traveling to cover an alleged rape. He was arrested in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020. There, a young Dalit woman allegedly died after being raped by her four upper-caste men. The incident sparked protests in India. Police accused Kappan of conspiring to cause law and order problems and incite violence, an allegation he denied. Three other men who were in the car with him that day were also charged with similar charges.
Mr. Kappan, who had two cases against him, was given bail in one by India’s Supreme Court in September. The Allahabad high court granted him bail in the second case in December. But it took more than a month after that for him to be released due to procedural delays. On Thursday, after Mr. Kappan walked out of the prison in Lucknow city, he said he would continue to fight the charges against him.
Mr. Kappan, who is from Kerala state, was working at the Malayalam-language news portal Azhimukham when he was arrested on his way to Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh. After his arrest, he accused the police of physically and mentally torturing him. His family also alleged that authorities did not give him access to his medicines for diabetes. The police denied the allegations.
Mr. Kappan’s lawyer told the news portals in 2021 that his client was initially charged with “minor bail breaches”. But two days after him, police added more charges, including sedition and provisions under the draconian anti-terrorism law, including those criticized for making bail almost impossible to obtain.
In February 2021, the Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, filed another lawsuit against him under money laundering laws. The central agency said Mr. Kappan had received money from the PFI to “incite riots”, a claim he denied.