Syed Sujeel Ahmed
BENGALURU—With a chat over video-conferencing becoming an impossibility between arrested Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and his ailing nonagenarian mother, Adv Wills Mathew fighting Kappan’s case, is exploring the possibility of a physical meeting between the two to “fulfill the last wishes of the journalist’s mother”.
Speaking to indiatomorrow.net, Mathew said that a video conferencing is not possible between the two as Kappan’s mother, who is over 95 years of age, has been on a drip for the last over seven days. “Moreover, as she remains unconscious for most of the time, it is not possible to arrange a video-conferencing”, said Mathew.
The Supreme Court on January 22 had given permission for a video call between the mother and son on a petition by the Kerala Union of working Journalists (KUWJ) which is fighting the case of Kappan in the court. Kappan was general secretary of KUWJ’s Delhi unit at the time of his arrest on October 5, 2020, when he was on his way to Hathras to cover the gangrape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in a village near Hathras town of Uttar Pradesh.
Stating that since it is becoming difficult to comply with the SC order due to critical health condition of Kappan’s mother, Mathew said that he was planning to move an application for an interim bail before the SC so that Kappan could go to hospital in Kerala and meet his mother. “His mother’s last wish is to meet Kappan and I will make this request before the court because it involves a very old woman in a critical condition. However, it is the discretion of the court to accept the request or reject”, said Mathew.
Kappan’s mother is admitted in a hospital in Vengara in Malapuram district of Kerala.
Kappan’s wife Raihanath, speaking to indiatomorrow.net, said,“My mother-in-law remains unconscious for most of the time but she inquires about Kappan whenever she regains consciousness”.
“She has been pleading us to make arrangements to meet Siddique, hence, we approached the Supreme Court some 10 days back with our plea but till today the jail authorities of UP have not even arranged a video call despite the CJI allowing a video call on Friday,” lamented Raihanath.
Though the jail manual does not allow video-calls, the SC allowed Kappan to speak to her mother through video-conferencing to fulfill the last wishes of his mother. Even Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government, did not oppose the plea and he told the bench that he will take care of the request, saying, “Leave it to me”.
Kappan continues to be in prison in Mathura since his arrest as several of his bail petitions have been rejected. He has been booked under sedition and terror charges as UAPA has been slapped against him.