Journalist Siddique Kappan from Kerala and three others who were arrested by Uttar Pradesh while on their way to Hathras, have now been charged with UAPA and sedition. In the FIR, UP Police charged them with Section 17 of the UAPA that deals with raising funds for a terrorist act, reported NDTV.
Earlier, four people including a journalist from Kerala were arrested from Mathura for their alleged links with the Popular Front of India that, police said that it is a threat to peace in society.
"Investigations into all angles, based on the information received from the preliminary interrogation of four people arrested by the Mathura police on Monday night, have started," said UP's ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar on Tuesday.
The four were arrested while they were on their way to Hathras, the home to a 19-year-old Dalit woman who died in New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital on September 29 while undergoing treatment for her critical injuries suffered during her gang-rape on September 14 in her village in Hathras.
The police had identified the arrested persons as Siddique from Malappuram, Atiq-ur Rehman from Muzaffarnagar, Masood Ahmed from Bahraich and Alam from Rampur.
Hours after the arrest, the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists identified Malappuram native Siddique by his full name as Siddique Kappan, saying he is "a senior Delhi-based journalist, working for several Malayalam media houses".
The KUWJ also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking his release, saying he was going to Hathras only to perform his duty as a reporter.
The KUWJ also filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking his immediate production before the court and release from the "illegal detention".
With one of the four arrested persons, Masood Ahmed, belonging to Bahraich, the district police also has begun a probe into his antecedents.
Masood Ahmad is a resident of Jarwal Road area, said Bahraich Additional Superintendent of Police Gyananjay Singh.
The police will check Masood's mobile phone's messaging data, said Singh.
There are also inputs about foreign funding to the accused, said Singh, adding the police will have an in-depth probe into this aspect as well and will take help of the central investigation agencies for economic offences if needed.
Masood was linked to the student wing of PFI known as Campus Front of India, the additional SP said, adding PFI, CFI and the Social Democratic Party of India work on similar ideology and have been involved in conspiring to harm peace and order by instigating religious frenzy.
Additional SP Singh said that Bahariach police had also arrested four PFI activists earlier here on charges of trying to create communal hatred during the Ram Janmabhoomi Pujan in Ayodhya in August this year.
Meanwhile, Mathura SSP Gaurav Grover told PTI that objectionable material connected with protest in Hathras was recovered from Masood and others.
Their mobile phones and other material have been seized and investigations are on, Grover said, adding the CFI activists have been booked under 151 IPC.