Disha Ravi granted bail in Greta Thunberg Toolkit case

A Delhi Sessions court on Tuesday (23 February 2021) granted bail to 22-year old climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested by the Delhi police from her Bengaluru residence on February 13 in the farmers protest ‘toolkit’ case. The Court granted her bail on the condition to furnish two sureties of Rs. 1 lakh each.

“Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana granted bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 1,00,000 with two surety in like amount,” reported ANI news agency.

The climate activist was arrested by the Delhi Police earlier this month for allegedly sharing and editing a document intended to help the farmer protests. Bengaluru-based Ravi, 22, was arrested on February 13 along with two other activists in connection with a toolkit on the farmers’ protest, which had been tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Ravi used to volunteer for Thunberg’s Fridays for Future (FFF) organisation in Bengaluru.

However, the teen activist extended support to Ravi and tweeted, “Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy.” The tweet was posted with the hashtag ‘StandWithDishaRavi’.

The Delhi Police has alleged that Ravi was the “key conspirator” in the formulation and dissemination of the document and that she collaborated with the pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation to “spread disaffection against Indian state” and also shared the doc with Thunberg. The police also claimed that Ravi had sent the toolkit to Thunberg through the Telegram app, and also “coaxed her to act on it”.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana of Patiala House Court Complex passed the verdict in Ravi’s bail application in which orders were reserved on February 20. Disha Ravi was produced before the Patiala House Court at the end of her one-day police custody. Earlier on Saturday, the court heard Ravi’s bail plea and Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana had reserved an order for February 23 on activists’ bail application. During the hearing, Ravi’s defence counsel had told the court that there is no evidence that links the document to the violence during the farmers’ march on January 26 in the national capital.

Disha Ravi’s counsel also said that there is nobody arrested in connection with the violence at Red Fort who has said that he was inspired for the same because of the toolkit. However, additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Delhi Police, told the court that the hyperlinks in the toolkit connected people to Khalistani websites that propagate hatred towards India.

At the time of opposing her bail plea, the counsel for the Delhi Police had told the additional sessions court that Disha Ravi must be confronted with the other two accused since she had shifted the blame on them during questioning. The police had told the court that the toolkit “seemed innocuous” but it had hyperlinks taking the user to websites which “defamed the Indian Army” like “current genocide alert” which had contents on “genocide in Kashmir” and the citizenship issue in Assam.

The court, while hearing arguments, had asked the police, “Is there any evidence? or are we required to draw any inferences and conjectures?” The police had told the court that co-accused Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk attended a Zoom meeting on January 11, 2020, with “60-70 people across the globe” including Dhaliwal and Lal. Following this, the accused persons, including Ravi, discussed the Toolkit on WhatsApp, which was created on January 28, “subject to certain modification by the applicant”. The court was told that this toolkit was shared by Shantanu to PJF. Ravi consented to this by sending a message that she read it, and as per their plan, Shantanu came to Delhi days before the violence to carry out their plans. Ravi’s lawyers had told the court that there was no evidence against Ravi and “having a difference of opinion does not amount to sedition”.

Meanwhile, Muluk on Tuesday moved a Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail. His application is likely to come up for hearing Wednesday before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana.

 

 

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