‘Toolkit’ case: Father of activist says cops searched home without warrant

Shantanu Muluk has already been granted pre-arrest bail by the Bombay High Court

Shantanu Muluk is not the first person to come under the Delhi Police radar in connection with the case

The father of an activist in Beed, Maharashtra, has said two people claiming to be Delhi Police personnel have confiscated a hard disk and other items from their house in the ‘toolkit’ case related to the farmer protests.

The men entered the house of Shantanu Muluk – who has already been granted pre-arrest bail by the Bombay High Court – without a search warrant on February 12, his father Shivlal Muluk told local police.

Shantanu is not the first person to come under the Delhi Police radar in connection with the case. A young environmental activist and a lawyer have also been targeted for sharing or editing the toolkit shared by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. The 22-year-old activist Disha Ravi is already in custody; the lawyer Nikita Jacob has been granted pre-arrest bail by the Bombay HC.

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The Delhi Police’s actions have been condemned by other activists and opposition leaders.

Related news: Too many discrepancies in Disha Ravi’s arrest, claim lawyers

Beed Superintendent of Police Raja Ramaswami said on Wednesday that Shivlal Muluk had made a representation to the authorities.

“We got representation yesterday. We’ll enquire and accordingly take needful action,” Ramaswami said in a text message to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Shivlal Muluk, 54, made the representation as a “responsible citizen” to the police and urged the SP to take appropriate action, an official told PTI.

Related news: Activist Disha Ravi breaks down in court; I was just supporting farmers

The letter said two people visited the Muluks’ residence on February 12 around 5.30am and introduced themselves as Delhi Police personnel, the official said.

They told the family that Delhi Police wanted to know about Shantanu, saying he had committed treason and had been in contact with “pro-Khalistan people”, the official said quoting the letter.

The two then searched the house and took away a hard disk, an environment-related poster, a book, and a mobile phone cover, it stated.

According to Shivlal Muluk, the police officials did not show any search warrant and also did not obtain any permission from the family before taking away the items, the letter said.

The police officials also did not prepare any ‘panchnama’ of the seized material, it stated.

A panchnama is a record of witness testimony, usually prepared by the police, during the investigation of a crime or after a death.

The police officials also told the Muluk family that the seized material would be returned to them later, as per the representation.

When contacted on phone, Shivlal Muluk said on Wednesday that he was not in a condition to speak.

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