A Mathura Court on Tuesday dropped the proceedings against Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan and three other persons in connection with a case registered against them under charges related to apprehension of breach of peace while they were on their way to Hathras to meet the family of a Dalit woman allegedly raped and murdered last year.
The Sub Divisional Magistrate of Mant, Ram Datt Ram dropped the Proceedings against them, as the police failed to complete the inquiry against them within the prescribed period of six months as stipulated under Section 116 (6) of CrPC. This Section states: "The inquiry under this section shall be completed within a period of six months from the date of its commencement, and if such inquiry is not so completed, the proceedings under this Chapter shall, on the expiry of the said period, stand terminated unless, for special reasons to be recorded in writing, the Magistrate otherwise directs..."
They have been discharged of the charges under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc) sections 151(Arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences), 107(Security for keeping the peace in other cases) and 116 (Inquiry as to truth of information).
The accused - Atiqur Rahman, Masood Ahmed and Alam and Siddique Kappan- were arrested under the above-mentioned charges while they were going to Hathras.
Initially, they were arrested under the apprehension of causing a breach of peace and were produced before a court of the sub-divisional magistrate which sent them to judicial custody.
Subsequently, they were booked under the UAPA alleging that they were trying to incite communal riots and disrupt social harmony in the wake of the Hathras gangrape-murder case.
They have been under judicial custody and in April 2021, eight people linked to Popular Front of India, including its students' wing leader K A Rauf Sherif and Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, were charge-sheeted by Uttar Pradesh police's Special Task Force in a court here for sedition, criminal conspiracy, funding of terror activities and other offences.
They denied the charges levelled against them and thereafter, since the police, in the prescribed period of six months, could not produce evidence in support of their case, the court yesterday discharged the accused on technical grounds.
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