Over the last few weeks, the left has been in an uproar over the detention of “journalist” Siddique Kappan. Kappan is a Office Secretary of the PFI, and had been arrested by the UP Police while on the way to Hathras at the height of the unrest in the area. The left had drawn parallels between his arrest and that of Arnab Goswami, saying that the UP government was cracking down on journalists who had merely tried to report on the Hathras case.
As it turns out, Siddique Kappan might not be a journalist at all.
The UP government has told the Supreme Court that Siddique Kappan is the Office Secretary of Popular Front of India (PFI), and was using a journalist cover by showing identity card of a Kerala based newspaper named as ‘Tejas’ which was closed in 2018.
The UP Government further stated that it has been “falsely alleged” that neither the family members nor the lawyers have been allowed access to Kappan. “At the outset, it is stated that no family member of the accused has approached the jail authorities till date for meeting the accused,” the affidavit states.
The UP government also expounded on Siddique Kappan’s motives of going to Hathras. The UP govt said that Kappan and others were going to Hathras with a “very determined design to create a caste divide and disturb law and order situation.” The govt said it seized incriminating materials from Kappan, including mobile phones, laptop, and pamphlets having headlines of “Justice for Hathras Victim”.
It would be strange why a “journalist” looking to dispassionately cover the case would go around with pamphlets asking for “Justice to the Hathras victim”, but this hasn’t stopped the left from trying to project Siddique Kappan as a journalist who was jailed for merely trying to do his duty. Kappan, as has emerged, is a member of the dreaded militant Islamist group PFI, which over the last few months has been involved in incidents ranging from the Bangalore riots to the CAA protests: Shaheen Bagh, incidentally, is the India headquarters of the organization. It had also emerged that PFI had held a secretive meeting in Turkey with an Islamist NGO in 2018.