As Disha Ravi seeks bail, police accuse her of defaming India, army

Police tell court ‘toolkit’ contains links to a website that defames India, and that Ravi is connected to a Khalistan-backing group

Disha Ravi
Protests against the arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi were held across the country File Photo: PTI

The environmental activist Disha Ravi on Saturday told a Delhi court that the “toolkit” cited by the police to accuse her and two others of sedition was merely a “resource document”.

The police, while opposing the 22-year-old’s bail plea, told the court that it contains links to a website that defames India, and that Ravi is connected to the Khalistan-backing Canada-based organisation, Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF).

Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13 and flown to Delhi. The co-accused — Mumbai-based lawyer Nikita Jacob and Pune engineer Shantanu Muluk — are currently under protective bail. The police have accused the trio of creating the toolkit shared on Twitter by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

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While hearing Ravi’s plea on Saturday, the court asked, “What is a toolkit?” The judge also asked: ”What is the prosecution story? What are the allegations against Disha Ravi? What are the evidences against her?”

Also read: Disha Ravi sent to 3-day judicial custody in ‘toolkit’ case

“They [the PJF] wanted to take advantage of farmers’ protest. They wanted an Indian face. They got in touch with a few people, including Disha Ravi. A mechanism was devised. The entire purpose of making this toolkit was a conspiracy between the accused,” the police told the court.

Ravi set up a WhatsApp group called ‘International Farmers Strike’ on December 6, the police said.

On January 11, according to the police, a Zoom call was made between PJF founder MO Dhaliwal and Ravi. Several such meetings followed, the court was told. The toolkit drafted and its final version was shared with the PJF on January 23.

“There was no need to share this toolkit with PJF. It has nothing to do with farmers protest,” the police argued.

Also read: Why we are awash with conspiracy theories

A hyperlink contained in the toolkit leads to a website called ‘CurrentGenocideWatch.com’, which “speaks about genocide, Kashmir… and defaming the Indian Army. This toolkit was cleverly designed to defame India and Indian Army”, the police alleged.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court said the police would be entitled to hold press briefings in connection with the case, while hearing Ravi’s plea to restrain cops from leaking to the media any probe material in relation to the FIR lodged against her.

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