The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to PhD scholar and activist Atikur Rahman in connection with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act case related to the Hathras gangrape in which journalist Siddique Kappan is an accused person.

However, the activist, who is associated with the Campus Front of India, an affiliate of the now-banned Popular Front of India, will continue to be in prison since he is yet to get bail in the Prevention of Money Laundering Activities case, his lawyer Sheeran Alvi told Scroll.

Rahman was arrested in October 2020 along with journalist Siddique Kappan, Mohammad Alam and student Masood Ahmad while they were travelling to Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras where a Dalit woman was allegedly gangraped and killed by four upper-caste Thakur men on September 14, 2020.

The Uttar Pradesh Police booked the four accused men under sedition charges and provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In February 2021, the Enforcement Directorate filed a case against them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The central agency had claimed that Rahman and three others had received money from the now-banned Popular Front of India to “incite riots”.

On Wednesday, Alvi told Scroll that the High Court considered the fact that Rahman has been in jail for more than two years and that co-accused Kappan and Alam have been granted bail. The High Court also noted that in the money-laundering case, only Rs 5,000 were transferred in Rahman’s bank account.

Alam was granted bail in the UAPA case on August 23. A week later, a special court in Lucknow granted Alam bail in the PMLA case, laying down stringent conditions – a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh and two sureties of the same amount.

On September 9, the Supreme Court granted bail to Kappan in the UAPA case, while on December 23, the Allahabad High Court gave him bail in the money laundering case too. However, despite the bail orders, Kappan remained in jail for over a month due to bureaucratic delays.

Rahman had sought bail in the case citing his medical condition. While in jail, the 28-year-old was partially paralysed. “He can’t move his left side, and he is even struggling to recognise me,” Rahman’s wife Sanjida Rahman had told The Quint. “He sometimes remembers who I am but then soon forgets again. It’s a very scary situation.”

In November 2021, Rahman was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi for an open-heart surgery after his family moved the High Court. He has been hospitalised multiple times since March 2022, according to human rights body Amnesty.

Also read:

Siddique Kappan interview: ‘Is it not my job to travel and report?’