The State of Uttar Pradesh has opposed the bail plea filed by Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan in the case filed against him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)..In an affidavit filed before the top court on Monday, the State government has said that Kappan has close links with extremist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI), which has an anti-national agenda and he was part of the larger conspiracy with the co-accused (including the financial launderer of CFI, Rauf Sharif) to foment religious discord and spread terror in the country."The investigation has revealed that the petitioner is part of the larger conspiracy with the co-accused (including the financial launderer of CFI, Rauf Sharif) to foment religious discord and spread terror in the country, especially in the wake of anti CAA protests and violence, the Babri Masjid decision of this Hon’ble Court and and the Hathras incident. The anti-national and terrorist PFI conspiracy and agenda dates back to 2010 (when PFI cadres (ex SIMI) had brutally maimed (hacked off the hands) of Christian Lecturer TJ Thomas of Newman College, and to 2013 when a PFI-backed weapons training terrorist camp was raided by the Kerala police at Narath, an investigation which was later taken over by the NIA," it was submitted..Kappan, who has been booked by the Uttar Pradesh government under the UAPA, moved the top court challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court which had rejected his bail on August 2.Kappan, a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020 while on his way to Hathras to report on the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl.The prosecution's case is that Kappan and the co-accused were travelling to Hathras with an intention to disturb harmony in the area. It was stated that they were collecting funds to run a website full of misinformation and to incite violence.All of them were charged under Sections 17 and 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Section 124A (sedition), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of Indian Penal Code and Sections 65, 72 and 75 of the Information Technology Act.A Mathura court had rejected Kappan's bail plea in July 2021 on the ground that there was prima facie case that Kappan and other co-accused were trying to disturb the law and order situation when they were heading to cover the Hathras gang rape incident in Uttar Pradesh.He then approached the High Court.Single-judge Justice Krishan Pahal, however, rejected the plea stating that a prima facie case was established by the prosecution that his travel with co-accused who did not belong to the media fraternity, as well as tainted money being used by him and his colleagues, were crucial circumstances going against him.This led to the appeal before the top court.The Supreme Court had, on August 29, sought the response of the State of UP on Kappan's plea. .The affidavit filed by UP government said that Kappan was arrested when travelling with persons who were named accused in previous riot cases."It has come out in the investigation that the petitioner was actually part of the PFI/CFI delegation to meet the family of the Hathras victim and foment discord and spread terror. Investigation has revealed that the said delegation was sent to Hathras on the directions of co-accused Rauf Sharif (National General Secretary, CFI, prime fund raiser and financial transaction handler for PFI/CFI), who had also provided finances for the trip," the affidavit said.Kappan's assertion that he was going to Hathras as a “journalist” is clearly a mere cover up, the State government contended.In this regard, the affidavit also highlighted the statement of Editor of Azhimukham, the news portal where Kappan was working."Even the statement of the Editor of Azhimukhum, annexed to the Petition, nowhere states that the said publication had deputed the Petitioner to cover the Hathras incident, it merely states that the petitioner had at 12.10 am on 5.10.2022, sent the office a WhatsApp message that he is going to Hathras," the affidavit said.It further stated that Kappan was earlier working with Thejas newspaper which was the mouthpiece of PFI before it shut down in 2018."The publication was compelled to shut down in India in 2018 amidst reports (including by a Kerala High Court-appointed independent committee) that the paper’s coverage was aimed at creating religious discord," it was submitted.He still continued to have a close relationship with the Editor-in-Chief of Thejas as was evident from WhatsApp chats, the State said."Further messages in 2018 are sent by P Koya to the petitioner warning him of government raids on Bhima Koregaon activists. Moreover, and most importantly, there is a constant exchange of messages in which P Koya suggests stories that the petitioner can write and make viral and the petitioner then writes such stories from a communal strife/fomenting angle in Azhimukham and sends the same to P Koya," it was stated..The affidavit also contended how the petitioner has been unable to explain the source of cash deposit of ₹45,000 recovered from him."In the present petition, the oetitioner has claimed that the ₹25,000 of 15.09.2020 was money deposited by him which he had saved to construct a house and that the ₹20,000 of 4.10.2020 was money that had been borrowed by friends and returned to him. However, in his supplementary rejoinder before High Court, the petitioner has (at p. 364) states (sic) that “the alleged payments made to the applicant are relating to his salary paid for working at Tejas Daily.” Thus, there is a clear contradiction in the Petitioner’s own version of the source of the said funds," the affidavit stated.