New Delhi: The wife of Malayalam journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested and charged under the UAPA while on his way to Hathras to cover the brutal violence on a Dalit woman, has been the latest to point out the double standards visible in politicians’ protests against the incarceration of Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami.
Kappan’s arrest has received significantly less attention, by media and politicians. Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including most of Narendra Modi’s cabinet, have been vocal in support of Goswami, who is known to be pro-government. Goswami had been held in connection with an abetment to suicide case from 2018.
The Telegraph newspaper has reported that Raihanath Kappan has taken a dim view of the treatment meted out to her husband.
“Our own minister in Delhi, [Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs] V. Muraleedharan, decried the arrest of Goswami and called it an assault on freedom of the press. But he didn’t spare a thought for a man from his own state who has been locked up in a jail in UP,” Raihanath said.
The Wire has reported on Kappan’s lawyers’ inability to contact him and the fact that members of his family had not been able to establish contact with him in the initial days after his arrest.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) had filed an application in the Supreme Court, seeking its directions to urgently hear Kappan’s bail petition and asking that he be allowed regular video calls with his family members and lawyers.
Raihanath echoed KUWJ’s concerns.
“From what I was told, he managed to speak to his [90-year-old] mother for five minutes. When I checked on Truecaller (a call tracing application), I could see he had called from a landline in Mathura jail,” she told Telegraph.
Raihanath also spoke of considerable and sudden financial difficulties, incurred at this time. The couple have three children according to the report, two sons aged 17 and 12, and a 7-year-old daughter.
Raihanath is not the only one to point out this ostensible double standard. Journalist Prashant Kanojia, who received bail after imprisonment for nearly three months over a tweet which he had deleted, also made an observation on his incarceration in a tweet posted by Republic TV.
I spent 80 nights https://t.co/bRh5x5DA0e
— Prashant Kanojia (@PJkanojia) November 9, 2020