An Indian Muslim journalist despite securing bail from the Supreme Court after spending nearly two years in jail on charges of conspiring to incite riots in a northern state will remain behind bars, a police official said on Tuesday.
Siddique Kappan is required for investigation in another case being probed by India’s Enforcement Directorate, said Santosh Verma, an official of the Lucknow Jail. “Kappan will continue to remain in jail as a case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate is still pending," according to him, as reported by the Press Trust of India.
"We are confident that he will be free soon as we have complete faith in our legal system," his wife Raihanath Kappan told Anadolu Agency. They expect that he will be granted bail in this case when it is heard on Sept. 19.
The journalist, who worked for a regional Malayalam news website, was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Friday after being detained by police in northern Uttar Pradesh state in 2020 on his way to report on the death of a lower-caste Dalit teenager days after she was gang raped.
On Sept. 14, 2020, a 19-year-old Dalit woman was gang raped in the state's Hathras area, resulting in serious injuries and her death two weeks later. The incident triggered widespread outrage and protests across the country.
The caste system in India divides Hindus into four main categories – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and the Shudras. Outside of this are Dalits, who are regarded as "untouchables" or socially excluded from upper caste Hindus.
The state authorities alleged that Kappan and the co-accused were traveling to Hathras with the purpose to disrupt the area's harmony. They also alleged that he had close ties to the Popular Front of India, a Muslim organization accused by the federal government of having ties to "terrorist" outfits, which the organization denies.