A local court on Tuesday acquitted Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and three others of breach of peace as the police failed to complete the probe in the case within the stipulated six months. The defense counsel gave the said information.
Kappan and his alleged associates were arrested on October 5, 2020, on suspicion of having links with the extremist group Popular Front of India (PFI). These people were going to Hathras, a village in UP, to report a gang rape and murder of a young woman.
On Tuesday, a sub-divisional magistrate in Mathura dropped charges under Sections 151, 107 and 116 of Criminal Procedure Code, as the police failed to complete the inquiry against Kappan and other accused within the prescribed period of six months, Live Law reported.
The four accused will, however, continue to remain in jail, since the charges under non-bailable offences remain against them. Kappan has been charged under the sedition law and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The police claimed that Siddique Kappan was arrested because he was going to Hathras as part of a conspiracy to create law and order trouble and foment caste riots. They claimed that Kappan and others were part of the Popular Front of India, a hardline Muslim organisation that authorities accuse of having links with extremist groups. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists has denied the police’s accusation.