Hathras Case: FIR Against Journalist Under Anti-Terror Law

Hathras Case: FIR Against Journalist Under Anti-Terror Law

A Kerala journalist and three others have been charged under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA and sedition by the Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday. They were arrested while on their way to Hathras earlier this week.

Police have applied Section 17 of the UAPA on the four persons, which deals with "raising funds for a terrorist act".

Journalist Siddique Kappan was going to Hathras on Monday to cover the situation following the alleged gang rape and death of the 20-year-old woman from Scheduled Castes, which has triggered outrage across the country.

Kappan works for a popular Kerala-based website and is also the secretary of Kerala Union of Working Journalists based in Delhi.

According to a statement by police as reported by NDTV, they arrested the men after they received information that some "suspicious people" were on their way to Hathras from Delhi.  The four men – Siddique Kappan, Atiq-ur Rehman, Masood Ahmed and Alam were stopped at a toll gate in Mathura and later arrested.

Their mobile phones, a laptop and some literature they carried, were seized, the statement said.

According to the police, the men revealed during questioning that they had links with the PFI and its associate organization Campus Front of India (CFI).

The police handling of the Hathras gang-rape case have been heavily criticized across the country and the subsequent post-midnight cremation has triggered massive outrage, drawing condemnation from the opposition and the civil society.

Leaders of several political parties including the Congress and the Samajwadi Party have been detained after they had a face-off with the police last week when they were on way to Hathras to visit the woman's family. Batons were also used on protesting workers of the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

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