New Delhi, Feb 23, 2021: A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to 22-year-old climate change activist Disha Ravi, more than nine days after she was arrested by the Delhi police in Bengaluru on February 13. She has been granted bail by Delhi’s Patiala House Court against two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each.
Disha Ravi was arrested by Delhi police and charged with criminal conspiracy and sedition in connection with the probe into the ‘toolkit’ or the Google document on farmers’ protests. The ‘toolkit’ was shared on social media by international climate change activist Greta Thunberg. While she deleted an older ‘toolkit’ shared in January, the new ‘toolkit’ with revised dates is still available online on her social media page. The Delhi police in its first information report stated that the contents of the ‘toolkit’ led to the violence that broke out in Delhi during the tractor parade by farmers on January 26.
A ‘toolkit’ is a Google document or Word document often used to organise a social media campaign or to plan protests. A toolkit contains basic information on any issue, tweet suggestions and information on what hashtags to use, whom to tag on social media, etc. These documents are regularly used by various individuals and groups, including political parties, to organise social media campaigns and mobilise crowds.
During the earlier hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, appearing for Delhi police, had opposed bail for Disha and said that it was not a simple ‘toolkit’, that the ‘toolkit’ preceded the violence that took place in Delhi on January 26 and that it was linked to the Khalistani movement through the Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), a Canada based organisation. However, the ASG said that the PJF was not a banned organisation. Another organisation - the banned Sikh Justice Foundation (SJF) - is mentioned in the FIR however, the Delhi police is yet to link the SJF to Disha Ravi.
Disha’s lawyer Siddharth Agrawal said she was highlighting the farm laws protests on a global platform.
He said she was flown to Delhi without a transit remand when she was arrested by the Delhi police and added that Disha was not part of the January 11 Zoom meeting mentioned by Delhi police which linked climate activists to members of the PJF. The ‘toolkit’ was created nine days later on January 20.
On Monday, a Delhi court had sent her to one day police custody, which ends on Tuesday. During the hearing, the Additional Public Prosecutor (APP), appearing for Delhi police, told the court that during her interrogation, Disha has shifted the burden to two others accused in the case — advocate Nikita Jacob and activist Shantanu Muluk - from Maharashtra. Shantanu and Nikita appeared before the Delhi police on Monday in connection with the case and the duo attended the Zoom meeting highlighted by the Delhi police.
Since her arrest, several fake theories have been shared widely on social media about Disha Ravi. One theory misrepresented her name as Disha Ravi ‘Joseph’ and claimed she is a Syrian Christian from Kerala looking to malign India. Another theory suggested she was being represented by lawyers who charge Rs 5-7 lakh per appearance. Her lawyers have clarified that they are working pro-bono. Several social media accounts claiming to be connected to Disha have surfaced on social media but her family has clarified that no one close to her is managing social media accounts in her name.
Courtesy:The News Minute