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11 Kerala MPs seek CJI’s help to shift jailed journo Kappan to Delhi AIIMS

Thiruvananthapuram Eleven members of parliament (MPs) from Kerala wrote to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Sunday, seeking his intervention to shift Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan, who is jailed in Uttar Pradesh, to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi as his condition deteriorated after testing positive for Covid-19
PUBLISHED ON APR 26, 2021 12:31 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram

Eleven members of parliament (MPs) from Kerala wrote to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Sunday, seeking his intervention to shift Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan, who is jailed in Uttar Pradesh, to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi as his condition deteriorated after testing positive for Covid-19.

In the letter, MPs said Kappan was admitted to the Mathura Medical College Hospital in Uttar Pradesh, where his condition was serious, and he has to be shifted to another hospital for better medical care. Earlier, Kappan’s wife Raihanath Siddique also wrote to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and others on Friday, pleading for their help. In the letter, she alleged that even in serious condition, the journalist was chained to the bed in the hospital, and he was denied proper medical help. She said he was suffering from many ailments including acute diabetes.

“He managed to call us a couple of days ago. He told us he was chained to the hospital bed like an animal and medicines were not given to him properly. My husband is innocent, and his life is in danger,” she told HT over phone from Malappuram.

Kappan, who is the secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), along with three other alleged Popular Front of India (PFI) activists, was booked on sedition and other serious charges in Mathura on October 5 last year while they were heading to Hathras, where a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped and murdered. KUWJ had approached the Supreme Court seeking Kappan’s release from jail while terming his arrest illegal and an attempt to silence the media. Kappan was working with an online portal when he was arrested.

However, Uttar Pradesh Police maintained that Kappan and the three alleged Popular Front of India activists were planning trouble in the state citing the Hathras incident. They were charged under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and sedition for alleged criminal conspiracy to create social unrest.

KUWJ had moved another plea in the Supreme Court on April 20, saying he was tested positive for Covid-9 after he collapsed in the bathroom, and he needs urgent medical care. His wife had also written to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and others seeking their help. A habeus corpus petition was filed on October 20 last year, but it is pending for more than six months, she said.

In the letter, MPs also pointed out the inordinate delay in hearing the habeus corpus petition. Congress MP K Sudhakaran and Muslim League MP P K Kunhalikutty are among signatories of the letter.

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