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‘Case is not as innocuous as it appears, a sinister scheme was devised’: Police oppose bail plea of toolkit activist Disha Ravi, court reserves verdict

"If it was so innocuous, why did she ask Greta to remove it. This shows there was a sinister plan behind this toolkit," argued ASG SV Ravi on behalf of Delhi Police.

A Delhi court on Saturday reserved the verdict after hearing the bail plea of 21-year-old ‘climate activist’ Disha Ravi, whose name has emerged in the ‘toolkit’ controversy.

During the course of proceedings before additional sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana at Patiala House Court, ASG SV Raju, appearing for the state argued that it was important to not grant bail to the ‘activist’. Reading out a reply by Delhi Police in the ‘toolkit’ case, Raju argued that the pro-Khalistani outfit Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) mobilises support for its cause and Disha Ravi is closely connected with the Zoom meeting organised by the outfit and its proponents.

The ASG said that Ravi had initially lied to the Delhi Police saying that she did not know anything about the Toolkit. However, the police have the phone number which was used to create the Whatsapp group and that was in her name. Moreover, Disha deleted chats and email IDs from the newly created Toolkit. “She has deleted contents from her phone. This clearly shows her intent.” Raju said, furthering that she also asked Swedish activist Greta Thunberg to delete the document. “If it was so innocuous, why did she ask Greta to remove it. This shows there was a sinister plan behind this toolkit,” the ASG added.

SV Raju told the court that the case is not as innocuous as it appears, a sinister scheme was devised. The purpose of Toolkit prepared in conspiracy with accused in Canada shows an offence under section 124A has been committed, said the ASG.

In pursuance of the conspiracy, Delhi police added that Sikhs for Justice, a banned organisation, had announced a reward of $2,50,000 on January 11, for anyone who hoists the Khalistani flag on India Gate, Red Fort.

The Delhi police further explained how PJF based in Canada, which advocates the creation of a Khalistan state, wanted to take advantage of farmers protest. They wanted an Indian face. They got in touch with few people, including Disha Ravi. A mechanism was devised. The entire purpose of making this toolkit was a conspiracy between the accused,” the police argued.

The prosecution furthered that Ravi set up a WhatsApp group, “International Farmers Strike”, on December 6. Attempts were made to get in touch with PJF. On January 11 a Zoom call was made between PJF founder MO Dhaliwal and the ‘activist’. Several such meetings followed, the court was told by the prosecution which added that the toolkit itself was drafted on January 20 and its final version was shared three days later.

“There was no need to share this toolkit with PJF. It has nothing to do with farmers protest. That too in a clandestine manner. It was a sinister plan,” the police argued.

A hyperlink was provided in this toolkit, they said adding that link led to a different website – CurrentGenocideWatch.com. “That website speaks about genocide, Kashmir…and defaming the Indian Army. This toolkit was cleverly designed to defame India and the Indian Army,” the police told the court.

SV Raju informed the court that later the toolkit was edited. “Emails have been deleted. You can’t find who has done it. Before the January 26 violence, they prepared a template and prepared details to be shared with persons”, argued the prosecution, as it added: “They worked in a coordinated manner to sabotage the Republic Day.. the Poetic Justice is carrying the agenda of protests globally. This is not a coincidence. It is well planned”.

Moving on, SV Raju also said that during the probe the link with another organisation- Kisan Ekta Company had appeared. Kisan Ekta company is in touch with organization in Vancouver, which is a hotbed for anti-India activities with regard to Khalistan, said Delhi Police, adding that the accused wanted to make the agitation international. 

Based on these arguments, Delhi Police tried to establish the fact that Disha Ravi was an integral part of the plan devised by the pro-Khalistani outfits to create unrest in India, and opposed the bail plea of the activist.

Yesterday, the Delhi police had told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain that Disha Ravi has been evasive in giving replies during the interrogation and shifted the blame onto co-accused Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk. The police requested the court to send her to three-day judicial custody, as they have served a notice to co-accused Shantanu, who will join the investigation on February 22, following which both will be confronted.

“We would need the custody of Disha post February 22 to confront her with the other accused. If she is given bail then the investigation will be frustrated,” The Delhi police had told the court.

After hearing all the arguments, the court reserved the verdict for 23rd February.

On Friday, Ravi was sent to three-day judicial custody by Delhi’s Patiala House Court. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain sent Ravi, 21, to jail after Delhi Police produced her before the court on expiry of her five-day custodial interrogation.

The climate ‘activist’ was arrested from Bengaluru in connection with the ‘toolkit’ controversy case and she was remanded to police custody for a period of five days by a Delhi court.

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