Countercurrents.org / by Rejaz M Sydeek
Siddique Kappan, a 43-year-old Malayali journalist and Delhi unit secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists was arrested near Mathura toll plaza on October 5th, 2020, with student activists Atikur Rahman and Masood Ahmad, and the cab’s driver, Mohammad Alam. He was en route to Hathras to report on the gang rape and murder of a Dalit girl (the Hathras case) by four upper-caste Thakur men in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. Kappan was charged under various sections, including the UA(P)A and PMLA. He was released on bail on February 2nd, 2023, after spending 851 days in jail.
This is the transcript of the interview. It has been lightly edited for syntax and clarity.
Rejaz: Even in your case, they tried to link you with the Bhima Koregaon case and frame you as a Maoist. How do you see using the Maoist tag as a weapon to incarcerate human rights activists and journalists like Rupesh Kumar Singh?
Kappan: This is prevalent in every era, especially in the contemporary world, where journalists are framed as terrorists. Framing me as a Maoist was part of that. There is always an attempt to frame those who speak for Adivasis, Dalits, and Muslims and against the oppressors of the oppressed as Maoists.