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Release arrested reporter at the earliest, journalists' union tells UP CM

A major journalists' union has said UP police has arrested a senior scribe, also its office-bearer, while on his way to Hathras to cover the situation there and demanded his release at the earliest

Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath

A prominent journalists' union has said the Uttar Pradesh police has arrested a senior scribe, also its office-bearer, while on his way to Hathras to cover the situation there and demanded his release at the earliest.

Siddique Kappan was trying to do his duty as a reporter, the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) told Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Kappan was its Secretary, a letter signed by KUWJ's Delhi unit President Miji Jose to Adithyanath said.

It added that he was on is way to cover the 'situation'at Hathras, where a 19 year-old Dalit woman, assaulted and allegedly gang raped, later died in Delhi, with the incident causing national outrage.

In its letter, KUWJ said Kappan, "a senior Delhi based journalist working for several Malayalam media houses, including azhimukham.com, had gone to Hathras on Monday morning to cover the present situation in the area."

On Monday, Uttar Pradesh police had arrested four people, said to have links with alleged radical group Popular Front of India (PFI) and an associate outfit, at Mathura while they were on their way to Hathras from Delhi.

The four were in a car and identified themselves as Atiq-ur Rehman of Muzaffarnagar, Siddique of Malappuram, Masood Ahmed of Bahraich and Alam of Rampur.

"We understand that he (Kappan) was taken into police custody by Uttar Pradesh police from Hathras toll plaza. Our efforts and the efforts by some advocates based in Delhi to contact him were not successful," KUWJ said.

The Hathras police station and the state police have not provided any information so far on having taken Kappan into custody, it added.

"Mr Kappan was trying to do his duty as a reporter. We urge you to get him released at the earliest," KUWJ urged the UP chief minister.

Hathras has been in news after the 19-year-old woman was allegedly raped on September 14 in a village in the district and she succumbed to her injuries a fortnight later at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.

Her hurried cremation in the dead of the night, allegedly without the parents' consent, created further outrage.