Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) spokesperson Madhyamam recently honored Josy Joseph, the co-owner of the online publication azhimukham.com. The N. Rajesh Editor-in-Chief Memorial Award was presented to “investigative” journalist Joseph in Kozhikode on 9 September.
Siddique Kappan, another “journalist”, was an online correspondent for Azhimukham and was elected “unopposed” as secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) in 2019. Kappan was arrested for trying to inciting caste violence following the tragic death of a SC Hindu Girl in Hathras, UP on October 5, 2020, and KUWJ worked hard to get Kappan released on bail. It later became apparent that Kappan was working for the now banned People’s Front of India (PFI).
Kappan was detained under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), a law that the KUWJ selectively describes as “draconian”. It was later revealed that influential lawyers like Wills Mathews and Kapil Sibal had been brought in to get Kappan released. The Supreme Court granted Kappan bail in the UAPA case, but he continues to be in a Lucknow jail in another PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) case. KUWJ also stepped in and got the terrorist suspect ‘treated’ at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi for an alleged Covid infection.
Kappan has close ties with the PFI and its student wing, Campus Front of India (CFI). It is part of a larger plot to sow terror and incite religious discord, the Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court. Kappan was associated with the main terrorist leaders of the PFI, such as P Koya, Kamal KP and Oma Salaam.
It was said that the investigation showed that co-defendant Rauf Sharif (National Secretary General, CFI, Chief Fundraiser and Money Launderer for PFI/CFI) ordered the delegation to go to Hathras and also paid for the trip. Sharif was arrested by the ED (Directorate of Enforcement) on December 12, 2020 at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport as he attempted to flee the country to Oman.
Reports say that ED discovered around INR 2.21 crore in the bank accounts of Rauf, a qualified chartered accountant. ED has evidence that PFI has received more than 100 crore in its bank accounts over the years, most of it deposited in cash. Funds received were then channeled through various sources to agents like Kappan on the ground.
The UP government reminded the court that PFI-backed terrorists brutally hacked the hands of Christian lecturer TJ Thomas of Newman College in 2010. Kerala police raided a terrorist weapons training camp PFI in Narath, Kerala, in 2013, and the NIA took over the investigation.
Why would KUWJ journalists such as those associated with communist spokesman Deshabhimani work hard to free a suspected PFI terrorist as a “journalist”? They are not alone. Other anti-Hindu propaganda outlets like The Newslaundry, The Wire, The News Minute and leftist outlets like Indian Express, The Hindu and The Times of India joined the chorus to free Kappan. They continue to blame the government of Uttar Pradesh, which initially arrested Kappan.
The spat between Kappan and Joseph
Kappan’s Whatsapp chats with PFI founder P Koya were recently revealed in the indictment submitted to court by UP Police. It was then that Kappan’s harsh words against Joseph became public knowledge. These discussions were revealed after the awards ceremony.
The KUWJ which remained silent when Joseph was rewarded has now sparked controversy and opposed the reward. KUWJ claims that Joseph “mentally tortured” Kappan.
For the record, Josy Jospeh was previously national security editor of the far-left newspaper ‘The Hindu’ and poked fun at the Hindu deaths in the Puttingal temple fire tragedy in Kollam. In 2021, he wrote a book that peddles conspiracy theories about Bharat’s security establishment and intelligence agencies forming a “deep state” that goes against democracy. The truth is that Bharat’s national security establishment was destroyed from within when “secular” coalitions like Gujral’s United Front and Sonia Gandhi’s UPA (who likes Joseph would like to see back in power) with people like Home Minister P Chidambaram and Vice President Hamid Ansari at the helm of affairs.
In 2019, Koya was angered by a letter sent by George Kurien, Deputy Chairman of the National Minorities Commission, to Union Home Secretary Amit Shah demanding an NIA investigation into the preparations for jihad. Kappan sent the news of George’s letter to Koya in the morning, which appeared in The Hindu newspaper on September 26, 2019.
This news infuriated Koya, who asked Kappan, “Which party does this Kurien belong to?” Kappan informed him that George was a BJP leader. Koya replied that “Mary Magdalene was the first victim of the grooming jihad”. In the Whatsapp conversations that followed, Koya constantly reminded Kappan to send him a copy of the letter sent by George to the Home Secretary.
Kappan revealed that Azhimukham’s editorial board chairman, Joseph, forced him to work on “anti-Muslim” news in Azhimukham. Joseph also warned him not to publish information that could help PFI terrorists, Kappan claimed. He added that he was compelled to point out the atrocities committed by Islamist clerics in different parts of Bharat.
Kappan told Koya that he was about to resign due to “Islamophobia” in Azhimukham. Koya reassured his disciple that he had intervened and blocked an important project that could have gone to Joseph and Azhimukham. The details of this project remain unknown. These Whatsapp chats are from a day before Kappan embarked on his fateful journey to Hathras.
Koya also asked Kappan to send five copies of Caravan magazine’s September issue on the Delhi riots to Joseph. These articles attempted to portray the radical Islamists who sparked the violence as victims. This Koya-Kappan Whatsapp conversation took place on October 4, 2020 and Kappan left for Hathras on the 5th.
Besides his PFI circle, Kappan only informed Azhimukham editor KN Ashok of his plans to travel to Hathras. It is suspected that Ashok informed Joseph of the same. Joseph must have understood that the management of the PFI intervened following Kappan’s complaint, and prevented the project he was supposed to obtain.
Apparently the intelligence agencies received the details of Kappan and his team’s trip to Hathras from someone in Azhimukham. Kappan and his gang were stopped at the Mathura tollbooth. At the time, Joseph shed tears over Kappan’s arrest, but recent developments indicate that it was he who worked to oust Kappan from Azhimukham.
PFI national board member Prof. P Koya was arrested in Kerala on September 22 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Islamist group was subsequently banned for acts of terrorism.