Known for her activism, the 79-year-old former vice-chancellor of Lucknow University, Professor Roop Rekha Verma, has come forward to help scribe Siddique Kappan languishing in jail for the last two years. Prof. Verma, an ace defender of human rights in UP and across the country has offered to give her surety for bail to Kappan.
She was also one among the petitioners who had approached the Supreme Court against the release of 11 accused in the Bilkis Bano case of Gujarat.
Siddique Kappan was arrested by UP police while he was going to cover the gruesome case of rape and murder of a Dalit girl in Hathras district. Kappan was booked under UAPA and was charge-sheeted for having links with the banned political organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) and a few other terror groups.
Kappan was given bail by the apex court two weeks ago but could not be released from jail as the Lucknow court had asked his lawyers to furnish two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each from local people. The family members as well as the lawyer of Kappan were getting none in UP who could come forward and take the surety for bail.
When Prof. Verma came to know about this, she offered to give surety for the bail. She said that it has become necessary to stand for people who have been oppressed for raising their voices against the state.
According to the lawyer of Kappan, Mohd. Danish, this was a big issue with the bail as none was coming forward to become surety for Kappan.
However, despite getting bail in the UAPA case, Kappan would remain in jail due to a case against him filed by Enforcement Directorate pending in Lucknow court.
The court would hear the bail plea of Kappan in the ED case on September 26. According to Danish, till then, he can't come out of jail.