Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI—Advocate Wills Mathews, representing journalist Siddique Kappan in the Supreme Court, on Tuesday received a phone call from Kappan who is currently lodged in the New Mathura Jail.
Speaking to India Tomorrow, Mathews said that he received the call at 4.20 pm from a cellphone and the caller identified himself as Siddique Kappan over phone. Kappan talked to the advocates for about five minutes.
On being asked what transpired between Kappan and himself (Mathews), the advocate said that the journalist told him that he was getting food, medicines and he was feeling healthy. Kappan also told his lawyer that he was not facing any difficulty in jail. “I am healthy, getting food and medicines”, Methews quoted Kappan to have said over phone.
Kappan also told Mathews that he was arrested at 10.20 am on October 5, not in the evening, as was being reported in the media.
Refusing to share the cellphone number from which the call was made to him, Mathews said, “I believe that it was from Mathura jail and the person speaking was Kappan himself because of his typical South Indian accent”.
Asked if he recognized Kappan’s voice, Mathews said, “I have never met him. So, I don’t recognize his voice. Since the call was from Mathura jail, I believe it was Kappan who was connected to me and allowed to talk to me”. Mathews has been hired by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), Delhi chapter, to fight Kappan’s case. Kappan happens to be secretary of KUWJ, Delhi unit.
Mathews said that the prisoners were allowed to talk to any one for five minutes in a week and Kappan would have been provided the cellphone to talk to him as a part of this facility given to prisoners.
The advocate said that he required to meet Kappan in person to get his ‘Vakalatnama’ ( a document empowering an advocate to act for and on behalf of his client) signed and to get more details of the case as to when he was arrested and when he was produced in the court and what happened with him afterwards. “I have only been hired by the KUWJ to fight Kappan’s case but I can fight the case only after meeting Kappan in person”, said Mathews.
Mathews had earlier tried to meet Kappan but was denied the permission by Chief Judicial Magistrate of Mathura as well as jail authorities. Mathews has submitted all these details in affidavit to the Supreme Court that had on October 12 asked Mathews to amend the writ petition seeking release of Kappan after personally meeting his client. It was on the basis of this affidavit that the SC on November 16 issued a notice to Government of Uttar Pradesh and the Director General of UP police to submit its reply. The hearing in the case is now scheduled on November 20.
Mathews will now go to Mathura jail to meet his client and to get ‘Vakalatnama’ signed after the SC hearing on Friday, November 19.
Kappan was arrested, along with three other persons, when he was on his way to Hathras on October 5 to write news report for a Malayali language news portal Azimukham and other Kerala-based news websites, and booked under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), besides various section of IPC, on allegations of trying to provoke communal strife and disturb law and order in the state.
The 41-year-old Kappan had moved to Delhi just nine months ago.