Seeking judicial custody, Delhi police’s counsel told the court that Disha needs to be confronted with the other co-accused in the case.

Disha Ravi being produced at a Delhi Court
news Court Friday, February 19, 2021 - 16:30

A Delhi Court on Friday sent 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi to three days in judicial custody in connection with the ‘toolkit’ case, or the Google document on farmers’ protest that the police are investigating. Disha’s five-day police custody ended on Friday and she was produced before the Patiala House Court at 3 pm on Friday.

Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmed, appearing for Delhi police, told the court that Disha has been evasive for the past five days that she has been in police custody and sought three days of judicial custody. The public prosecutor told the court that Disha has shifted the blame to co-accused Shantanu and Nikita and so she needs to be confronted with them. The Delhi police’s counsel also told the court that the police have sent a notice to Shantanu asking to join the investigation on February 22. Advocate Nikita Jacob and environmental activist Shantanu Muluk, both Maharashtra residents, were also named as accused by the police in the same case. On Thursday, they were given protection from arrest after they moved the Bombay High Court.

Appearing for Disha, advocate Siddharth Agarwal sought a legal interview with her and the court has allowed her counsels to meet her in lock-up.

Disha was arrested from her home in north Bengaluru by the Delhi police on the afternoon of February 13 and was transported to Delhi by flight. The next day, she was produced before a Delhi Magistrate and was remanded to police custody for five days. Her custody ended on Friday, February 19.

The FIR filed in the case does not mention Disha’s name, but mentions a “detailed plan of a large conspiracy to wage an economic, social, cultural, and regional war against India.” It also alluded to two organisations including the “banned terrorist organisation Sikhs for Justice and Poetic Justice Foundation." 

Image result for disha ravi

The toolkit tweeted by climate activist Greta Thunberg on February 3 had stirred a row, but it is to be noted that toolkit is essentially a Google document used to prepare a social media campaign or to plan protests. It comprises 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 parties to organise social media campaigns and mobilise crowds. The toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg contained an outline of what the farmers’ protests are, hashtags to use, people to tag and handles to follow for news. 

On Thursday, Disha moved the Delhi High Court seeking action against three English channels - News 18, India Today and Times Now - so that they do not publish contents or extracts of any alleged private chats, including those over WhatsApp. She stated that reports on TV channels and the media trial against her have “severely aggrieved” her.  The bench led by Justice Pratibha M Singh was hearing the plea on Friday and noted that the media coverage post Disha’s arrest was sensationalised reporting, adding that the right to privacy sovereignty and integrity of the country and freedom of speech need to be balanced, Live Law reported. 

Disha’s arrest had sparked massive outrage on social media and protests were held in Bengaluru and Chennai. Historian Ramachandra Guha and Congress MLA Sowmya Reddy were among the protesters at Bengaluru’s Mysore Bank Circle on February 15, demanding Disha’s immediate release.  

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