A people’s collective held here on Saturday demanded the release of journalist Siddeek Kappan from detention in Uttar Pradesh.
Mr. Kappan, who is secretary of the Delhi unit of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police from Mathura on October 6 while he was on his way to Hathras for covering the gang-rape and murder of a Dalit woman.
Mr. Kappan’s wife Raihanath, his two children and brother were among those who joined the collective. T.N. Prathapan, MP, inaugurated the programme. KPCC general secretary Noushad Ali organised the gathering.
Mr. Prathapan said the arrest and detention of Mr. Kappan was a pointer to the increasing incidence of anti-democratic tendencies across the country. He called upon the people to join hands to resist the anti-democratic behaviour of the government.
Senior journalist N.P. Chekkutty said Mr. Kappan’s arrest reflected the increasing fascist tendencies in the country. He said the U.P. government arrested Mr. Kappan to divert the attention of the world from the human rights violations taking place in that State.
Ms. Raihanath demanded the intervention of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the release of her husband. She said nobody from the State administration had offered them even a word of solace. “If it is Mr. Siddeek today, it can be anyone of you tomorrow,” she said.