By LE Desk

New Delhi, April 28: The wife of Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police while on his way to Hathras, has written to Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana seeking his immediate release from a hospital, alleging he is “chained like an animal in a cot” there.

Kappan, arrested on October 5 last year while on the way to Hathras which was home to a young Dalit woman who died after being gang-raped allegedly by four upper-caste men, is currently lodged in Medical College Hospital, Mathura, after he was found positive for COVID-19 on April 21.

Raihanth Kappan said in the letter written to the Chief Justice of India that Kappan received injuries on April 20 after falling in the jail bathroom and was reported COVID positive a day later, news agency PTI reported.

It said that he was shifted to K.M. Medical College, Mathura, on April 21, where he is presently “chained like an animal in a cot of the hospital, without mobility, and he neither could take food, nor could go to toilet for the last more than 4 days, and is very critical.”

“If immediate corrective steps are not taken it will result in his untimely death,” the letter said.

She said, “Despite having knowledge about the procedure established by law for mentioning, I am forced to approach your lordship directly, being an issue arising out of a habeas corpus petition pending more than six months, believing ‘Justice is above all, and even laws, rules and guidelines bend before it’.”

“Importantly, media is the breath of democracy, and it is an attempt for giving breath to a media person, who is in jail for the last more than six months, and the habeas corpus petition also pending since October 6, 2020,” she said.

“It is most respectfully prayed to take immediate steps/pass necessary orders to release Kappan from the medical college hospital back to the Mathura Jail as interim relief,” the letter said, adding that the representation given to Jail Superintendent, Mathura by message was pending.

Officials in Mathura said that Kappan’s condition is gradually improving.

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