A young woman died after being gang-raped and physically assaulted in the Indian state of Bihar. But the police are accused of burying him without post-mortem without informing the family. The country’s Supreme Court has granted bail to a journalist after serving two years in prison for trying to publish a report on the incident.
According to a report by the British media The Guardian, the name of the journalist who was imprisoned for two years is Siddique Kappan (43). He is a Delhi-based freelance Muslim journalist.
The Supreme Court of India granted his bail last Friday (September 9).
It is known that a 19-year-old Dalit girl was a victim of gang rape. The rapists beat the young woman while stopping the rape. Later the girl died due to rape and beating.
Siddique was trying to write a report on the rape of the young woman, her death and police action. For this he tried to communicate with the victim’s family. On October 5, 2020, the police arrested Siddique while going to the area of the victim.
After his arrest, the police registered a case against him for terrorism, sedition and other charges.
According to the police in the charge sheet submitted to the court, the journalist Siddique tried to incite Muslims by publishing the report about the young woman.
The chargesheet also said Siddiq worked in the think tank of the Popular Front of India (PFI), a Muslim political party. And according to the police, PFI is involved in terrorist activities.
On the contrary, Siddique told the court that he had gone to collect news about the incident after the Dalit girl’s murder for a Malayalam news portal.
At that time, the arrest of Siddiq caused a huge storm in various media including human rights organizations. Despite protests demanding his release, he was not released.
Austria-based media group The International Press Institute condemned Siddique’s detention.
Siddique had applied for bail in the Allahabad High Court last August. But the Allahabad High Court rejected his bail plea. Later, Siddique filed a bail application in the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court’s decision to cancel the bail.
The Supreme Court of India granted bail to Siddique on Friday. But even there, the Uttar Pradesh police lawyers opposed Siddique’s bail. Siddiqui allegedly tried to create riots through conspiracies in Uttar Pradesh.
Later, Siddique’s lawyer Biran told reporters that when the court asked for evidence of the attempt to create a riot against Siddique. At that time, the police could not present any evidence.
The country’s Chief Justice UU Lalit said, ‘Every citizen has the freedom to express his opinion. He (Siddique) tried to show that the young victim needs justice and there should be a protest.’
He questioned and said, in the eyes of the law, what is the crime of Siddique’s attempt?
Supporting the decision of the court, Professor Apurvananda of Delhi University said that the observation of the Supreme Court has proved that Siddique’s actions were legal.
He also said that Kappan was detained because he is a Muslim and a journalist. Kappan paid a price for being a Muslim. Many other Muslims like him are still in jail.
And Kappan’s wife expressed satisfaction with his bail. He said, finally the truth has won in the Supreme Court.
According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international organization of journalists, apart from Kappan, nine other journalists are detained in different jails in India.
India’s index of media freedom has been steadily declining over the past year. Bangladesh ranks 150th in the media freedom index of 180 countries. India’s position in this index was 142 last year.