Earlier this month, journalist Siddique Kappan served a year in prison. Uttar Pradesh police have filed a more than 4,500 page indictment file in the case which describes Kappan as guilty more through a web of speculation than through physical evidence. After a detailed conversation with Kappan’s attorney, Madhuvan Dutt Chaturvedi, who inspected the indictment, Laundry presents a series that will explore the UP police charges against Kappan.
An example of tenuous evidence is the disclosure of statements by Siddique Kappan and Atikur Rahman in custody, allegedly responsible for the “Justice for Victim Hathras” portal. According to sources based last year, it was said that UP police believed this website was created to organize violent protests on Hathras and cause riots. It should be noted that the disclosure made under article 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure will have no probative value in court. Previously, the courts ruled that statements recorded by the police in custody cannot be used against the accused. In addition, there is no physical evidence linking the website to the accused.
In a note dated November 4, 2020, the UP special working group submitted a statement from Kappan who allegedly said that after it was revealed that members of the upper caste were behind the rape and murder of a Dalit woman in Hathras, the “Justice for Hathras The Victim Portal was set up in order to“ incite the Dalits and cause riots ”.
The note also cited Kappan mentioning his association with Théjas (a newspaper) and that its job was to try to “connect those with a radical Muslim mindset with the Popular Front of India (PFI)”.
Setting up the portal
Kappan reportedly said in his statement that he and Atikur Rahman were members of several groups on WhatsApp and Facebook where they allegedly posted community and caste-related content in order to “make people oppose the government” with the intention of “provoke riots”. .
The statement added that in order to protect against police action, the “Justice for Hathras Victim” portal has been set up on the Carrd.co hosting website.
In April of this year, UP STF said it had recovered 1,717 documents at the time of the arrest of the four defendants in this case: Atikur Rahman, Mohd Alam, Siddique Kappan and Masood Ahmed. Among the documents recovered by the police were printouts from the “Justice for Hathras Victim” portal.
According to the statement recorded in custody, Kappan also said that “they are in favor of an Islamic state and are working (to promote) fundamentalism.”
Referring to the chain of events after the death of rape victim Hathras in Delhi on September 29, 2020, the statement said that the “Justice For Hathras Victim” portal was closed on October 4. Frequently used platform for civil rights protests on the Internet, including Black Lives Matter protests.
In a note dated October 29, 2020, a UP police officer submitted findings related to the Carrd.co website, according to the lawyer who reviewed the files.
The UP STF investigator said he contacted Carrd.co using his email id. In response, the website informed the STF that it had received an “abuse report” regarding the “Justice for Hathras Victim” portal. Citing in their terms and conditions provisions relating to “user content constituting a criminal offense”, Carrd.co explained why the portal had been deleted on October 4, 2020.
Carrd.co’s response also indicated that the hosting website did not have any information about the host that purchased the “Justice for Hathras Victim” domain name.
“A satisfactory response was not received. The website had been used to download content specifying how to incite and prevent riots. It appears to be an irresponsible response from the hosting website, ”the investigating officer said in the indictment.
In another memo dated December 3, 2020, it was reiterated that there was no information regarding the name, address, mobile number and IP address of the hosting website. This note also added that “it seems that the portal was removed only to protect itself from the action of the police”.
The investigator also referred to the fact that they contacted Carrd.co on October 29, October 31, November 6 and November 9 by mail, but received no response.
Disclosure statement by Atikur Rahman
The disclosure statement of another accused, Atikur Rahman, bears a striking resemblance to that of Siddique Kappan.
Rahman reportedly said, “We want to connect those with a radical Muslim mindset to establish an Islamic state. Elaborating further on the need to create the “Justice for the Victims of Hathras” portal, Rahman said that since their ideology revolves around creating instability for the government, the portal was therefore created in order to save themselves. of [police] action.
But when the portal was closed on October 4, they reportedly decided to visit Hathras. The statement further suggests that Kappan, Rahman and others went to Hathras but returned because “they did not have the weapons and gasoline to cause riots.”
The disclosure statement does not specify whether Rahman or Kappan made any payment to Carrd.co for the purchase of the “Justice for Hathras Rape Victim” domain name.
Eyewitness statements in Hathras
The indictment cites statements from four eyewitnesses in Hathras who allegedly identified Siddique Kappan and Atikur Rahman among those “who had gone to the raped village of Hathras a few days after his death at Safdarjung hospital in Delhi ”. These declarations were submitted in the form of a note dated November 7, 2020.
Madhuvan Dutt Chaturvedi, the defense attorney in the Kappan case, has denied claims that Kappan and others were on their way to Hathras when police arrested them.
All eyewitnesses described the perpetrators attempting to incite violence as “”bahari log“, or foreigners, and went on to explain how” their targets were those of the Thakur community “.
Talk to LaundryAttorney Wills Mathews, who is representing Siddique Kappan in this case, said: “Disclosure statements are not admissible as evidence. In this case, the statements are full of contradictions and improbable too. “
Responding to the question of whether the inclusion of disclosure statements in the indictment appeared to be a maneuvering tactic on the part of the investigative agency, Mathews said: “In almost all criminal trials, stories happen to justify the alleged infractions, but the ultimate test is trial. Usually, these stories will be refuted at the time of trial. “
Insisting that he has yet to receive a copy of the indictment, Mathews added: “He [Kappan] he himself volunteered to undergo a narco analysis or any other scientific test to prove his innocence.
Misuse of disclosure statements
The confessional statements included in the indictment came recently during the Delhi riots-related cases in 2020. As per Scroll, in the case of the death of Delhi Police Chief Ratan Lal, among the 17 Muslim men arrested, seven had identical disclosure statements, thus raising questions as to the veracity of those statements.
Laundry see you earlier on how Zee, To print and ANI had often presented legally inadmissible disclosure statements as “confessions” by former party advisor Aam Aadmi Tahir Hussain, students of Jamia Millia Islamia Meeran Haider and Asif Iqbal Tanha, and student at Delhi University Gulfisha Fatima.
The charge filed by the UP STF under FIR no. 199/2020 to Mathura seems to be another example of confession “hijacking” to prove police theory.
On the question of the reliability of the disclosure statements made in police custody, Supreme Court lawyer Abu Bakr Sabbaq said Laundry, “Under the Indian Evidence Act, disclosure statements cannot be used against the accused. Yet the police take note and this forms the basis of the framing charges. “
Quoting from, who was convicted under the Prevention of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act in 1994, Sabbaq added: “Twenty-two years later, the case was decided by the Supreme Court on May 11, 2016. It was observed that the only proof was disclosure. statement made before the investigating officer, which cannot be proven and the accused were therefore acquitted.