Shashi Tharoor (File photo)
- ‘Siddique Kappan release after 28 months in jail reminds us that UAPA allows the government to detain people indefinitely without charge’
- The Kerala journalist asked for reading material in jail he was offered only books in Hindi, a language he does not know
- It took the Supreme Court to finally reaffirm “bail not jail”, the former Union minister said on Twitter.
Reacting to the release of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, senior Congress leader and parliamentarian from Thiruvananthapuram underscored the need for the reform in laws that are being misused to detain people indefinitely without charge.
He précisely mentioned that the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) is a “menace to democracy.
The Kerala journalist was arrested while he was on his way to cover the Hathras incident where a Dalit girl was gang-raped and killed over two years ago. He was slapped with stringent anti-terror charges, and then in a financial embezzlement under the PMLA. He walked out of jail on bail on Thursday.
Police had alleged that Kappan had links with the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI). He was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the UAPA and the Information Technology (IT) Act.
Tharoor said, “The release of Siddique Kappan after 28 months in jail reminds us that UAPA allows the government to detain people indefinitely without charge.”
Notably, it took the Supreme Court to finally reaffirm “bail not jail”, the former Union minister said on Twitter. “The amended UAPA is a menace to democracy, as I warned when opposing its introduction in LS (Lok Sabha),” Tharoor said.
In another tweet, he said, “A footnote: when Siddique Kappan asked for reading material in jail he was offered only books in Hindi, a language he does not know, and denied books in English or Malayalam, the only languages he can read.”
In the land of Mahatma Gandhi, “is this the level of our humanity”, Tharoor asked.
Kappan’s release came almost six weeks after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
-INDIA NEWS STREAM