Editorial

Raj Dharma not being followed in BJP Ruling States and Union of India

The nation wants that the judiciary should “walk the talk”, as journalist Siddique Kappan was denied bail on manipulated grounds yet again.

Earlier in the day, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court rejected the bail application of Kappan, who has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in the Hathras conspiracy case, while there is no prima facie under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act to arrest the innocent journalist of national reputation.

The reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Kappan was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020 while on his way to Hathras to report on the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.

It may be recalled that “CJI said bail & not jail is the norm so why isn’t it being implemented? Siddique Kappan was once again denied bail and continues to be behind bars for 22 months for covering the Hathras gang rape. High time judiciary walks the talk.

Prior to this, the bench had reserved its order on August 2 after conclusion of arguments by the counsels of the accused and the state. Earlier a Mathura court too had rejected Kappan’s bail plea after which he had approached the HC.

Kappan, a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020 while on his way to Hathras to report on the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.

The police had claimed that the accused were trying to disturb the law and order in Hathras. They had also alleged that the accused had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI) while unlike RSS, PFI is a registered a political party. It is not understood what made police to rely upon irrelevant and fabricated evidence.

It may be recalled that a dalit woman had died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after her alleged rape by four men from her village on September 14, 2020. She was cremated in the middle of the night in her village against the norms and customs of the Scheduled Castes.

Her family members claimed that the cremation, which took place well past midnight, was without their consent and that they were not allowed to bring home the body one last time.

It is unfortunate that the BJP governments are relying upon the factual law and there is no dharma in their ruled states. IWP would invoke the reminder to the Narendra Modi Government of Gujarat by the former prime minister of India Atal Behari Vajpayee to follow RAj Dharma in letter and spirit, which is missing in Kappan’s case by Yogi Adityanath UP Government.

Kappan and others were charged under Sections 17 and 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Section 124A (sedition), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of Indian Penal Code and Sections 65, 72 and 75 of the Information Technology Act.