A Lucknow court on Wednesday framed charges against jailed journalist Siddique Kappan and six others in a money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate, The Indian Express reported.
The trial in the case will begin on December 17.
Besides Kappen, the court also framed charges against KA Rauf Sherif, Atikur Rahman, Masud Ahmad, Mohammad Alam, Abdul Razzak and Ashraf Khadir.
Kappan was arrested on October 5, 2020, along with three other men while they were travelling to Hathras where a Dalit woman was gangraped and killed by four upper-caste Thakur men on September 14, 2020.
The police first accused Kappan of intending to start a caste-based riot and create communal disharmony. Subsequently, sedition charges and provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were added.
In February 2021, the Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, filed a case against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The central agency had Kappan, Rahman, Ahmed and Alam of receiving money from the now-banned Popular Front of India to “incite riots”.
Rahman is the national treasurer of the Campus Front of India, the student body of the Popular Front of India. Ahmed is the general secretary of the Campus Front of India’s Delhi unit while Alam is a member of the outfit as well as the Popular Front of India.
Sherif, the national general secretary of the Campus Front of India, had funded their trip to Hathras, the Enforcement Directorate claimed.