India Journalist Walks Out of Jail After 2 Years
Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, who spent nearly two and half years in jail without trial, has walked out of prison, more than a month after he was granted bail by a court in the northern city of Prayagraj in a money laundering case.
Kappan was initially charged under various sections of the Indian penal code, before being hit by terror and money laundering charges. He had been granted ‘bail’ in the ‘terror case’ by the Supreme Court in September 2022.
“I am happy to walk out of jail after almost 2.5 years. ” “I am hopeful to defend my part and prove my innocence.”The 43-year-old Journalists said.
Journalist rights watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, welcomed Kappan’s release and demanded that all charges be dropped against him.
“I had only gone to report. What is wrong with that? I was only carrying two pens and a notepad, ” Kappan said
He was arrested in October 2020 in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where he had travelled to report on a high-profile gang-rape case. He and three others, including his driver, were accused of belonging to a Muslim organisation and “eventually charged with conspiracy to incite violence.”
His driver, Mohammad Alam, was granted bail last month while the two others remain behind bars.
Kappan has maintained his innocence and says that he had only travelled from his home state of Kerala to do his duties as a journalist.
Kappan added that the years since his arrest have been tough for him and his family.
Aljazeera /Shakirat Sadiq