“He has tested positive today. He is present in L2 hospital outside jail in KM Medical college Mathura”
Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India
NEW DELHI— Incarcerated Kerala journalist Siddique Kapan, who has been lodged in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura Jail, has tested positive for coronavirus, his advocate Wills Mathew and jail superintendent said.
“He has tested positive today. He is present in L2 hospital outside jail in KM Medical college Mathura,” said Shailendra Maitreya, the jail superintendent.
Mathews said he spoke with Kappan a few days ago and he has complained of fever.
Kappan was arrested along with three members of Campus Front of India, a student organisation, six months ago in October last year when they were on way to Hathras to report about the gang-rape and murder of a Dalit woman.
The police accused them of hatching a conspiracy to defame the Uttar Pradesh government which was facing severe criticism over the shocking gangrape and murder of the Dalit woman. The police slapped serious charges under the draconian anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against Kappan and three others
Earlier this month the UP police filed a chargesheet of 5000 pages against seven Muslim men, including Kappan, in the conspiracy case.
As India battles an overwhelming surge of the coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc in cities across different states bringing the healthcare system to its knees, calls from activists and families are growing that political prisoners held in jails should be given access to health facilities.
On Monday, a tweet from the account of anti-CAA activist Khalid Saifi claimed that he was suffering from fever and throat infection in jail. “There is no Covid Test Facility inside the jail. Kindly pray for his well being and health,” complained the tweet.
Saifi is among at least 20 activists who have been held under the UAPA in connection with the so-called Delhi riots conspiracy case.