Kappan’s wife Raihanath Kappan has filed a plea before Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, informing that Siddique’s condition is getting worse. Siddique, accused of offences under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and sedition, had tested positive for Covid-19.
In her plea, Raihanath has claimed that Siddique suffered a fall in the bathroom and was diagnosed with Covid-19. He was shifted to Mathura’s KM Medical College and Hospital, where is he allegedly being ill-treated. Raihanath claimed Siddique is presently “chained like an animal” to a hospital bed in Mathura. “Presently Kappan is chained like an animal in a cot of the Medical College Hospital, Mathura, without mobility, and he neither could take food, nor could go to the toilet for the last more than four days, and is very critical. If immediate corrective steps are not taken, it will result in his untimely death,” the plea said.
Advocate Wills Mathew, on behalf of Kappan’s wife, urged the Supreme Court to intervene and release him from the hospital. “It is most respectfully prayed to take immediate steps/pass necessary orders to release Siddique Kappan from the Medical College Hospital back to the Mathura Jail as interim relief,” the plea said.
“At a time when the country is gasping for breath, many migrating to the other world of equality, this is an attempt to give interim breath to a journalist, on behalf of the wife Raihanath Kappan, to release her husband Siddique Kappan….,” the plea stated.
Earlier, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) also moved an application for an early hearing of the plea citing danger to Kappan's life. That plea stated that Kappan had collapsed in the bathroom at the Mathura jail and later tested positive for Covid-19. KUWJ had asked the Supreme Court to move him to Delhi's All India Institute of Medicial Science (AIIMS).
Kappan and three others were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on October 5, while he was on his way to Hathras to report on the brutal rape of a Dalit girl by upper-caste men. He was charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Sedition. Recently, Kappan was charged under the Money Laundering Act as well, based on the findings of the Enforcement Directorate.
The police had claimed that he was a member of the Popular Front of India and that he had used the identity card of a Kerala-based newspaper (Tejas), which closed down in 2018. Moreover, the government affidavit claimed that the group planned to “create caste divide” in Hathras, as they were carrying flyers and posters for the purpose.