Mother of journalist Siddique Kappan, held on way to Hathras, dies in Kerala
- Siddique Kappan’s relatives said he was informed about his mother’s death, and he expressed his helplessness in attending last rites.
Mother of Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala who was arrested on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to report the alleged gang rape of a Dalit woman in October year, died in her home in Malappuram district on Friday, her relatives said. Khadeeja Kutty was 90.
Jailed in Mathura jail, the Supreme Court in February this year had allowed Kappan to visit his ailing mother and he spent five days in his house under the strict vigil of the Uttar Pradesh police. Kappan’s relatives said he was informed about his mother’s death, and he expressed his helplessness in attending last rites. They added that Khadeeja’s burial, who died due to age-related complications, will be held later on Friday. In one of the recent interviews, Khadeeja had expressed her desire to meet her son.
Kappan, who has acute diabetes, was shifted to a hospital in Delhi after he had tested positive for Covid-19 in April. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and many MPs from the state had written to the Chief Justice of India about the “inhuman treatment” meted out to him. Later, he was shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for treatment on April 30. After he recovered from Covid-19, he was again sent back to Mathura jail on May 7. However, his wife had alleged that he was shifted to the jail even before he cured fully.
In April, his wife Rahyanth Kappan sat on a dharna outside Malappuram collectorate. She said her husband was innocent and he was on his way to file a report on the incident. She said the Uttar Pradesh police were not even allowing lawyers to talk to him over phone and many new charges were slapped against him.
Kappan and three others who were heading to Hathras to report the alleged gang rape were arrested in October last year on charges including under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The UP police claimed they were active workers of the Popular Front of India, a fundamentalist outfit, adding that they were masquerading as journalists and trying to fuel trouble in the state.
Kappan hails from Vengara in Malappuram and was working in Delhi for the last six years. He is associated with Malayalam news portal azhimukham.com. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) is fighting his case. Two days back, a court in Mathura dropped the charge of conspiring to breach peace in the state against them (Kappan and three others) after the police failed to file charge sheet in the case.