By Ananya Bhatnagar
A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order on the petition filed by climate activist Disha Ravi seeking bail in connection with Toolkit case concerning the farmers’ protest and the violence that broke out in the capital on January 26 after the tractor rally.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana reserved the order in the matter and posted it for pronouncement on Tuesday.
Appearing for the police, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S. V. Raju and public prosecutor Ifran Ahmed while opposing the bail application said that the petition is premature and that Disha was involved in tampering of evidence.
“She is destroying evidence, tampering with the evidence is a ground for which her bail should be rejected,” the two prosecutors argued.
“She did not tell the truth. Under Sec 161, you are bound to tell the truth unless it is self incriminating. She has denied the same despite creating the WhatsApp Group. She has lied to the police saying she doesn’t know a thing about the toolkit. We have her phone number registered under her name,” they added.
The two argued further that the investigation is at a nascent stage and the police have to confront her with other co-accused Nikita Jacob and Shantanu, who have been asked to join the investigation on February 22.
The prosecution further argued that Disha and her alleged associates wanted to make the farmers agitation international.
“There is ample evidence showing that the accused were in touch with PJF and banned organization Sikhs For Justice,” the prosecutors said.
“There is an organisation PJF whose founders are Anita Lal and MO Dhaliwal. It advocates the idea for the creation of a Khalistani state. This foundation wanted to take advantage of this farmers’ protest. They did it indirectly, so that they are not exposed. They wanted a face in India so they approached the group which includes the petitioner,” ASG Raju told the court.
It was further argued that Disha and others prepared tweets in advance to spread misinformation like usage of tear gas and water canons on protesters.
“Disha and Nikita Jacob are the local corroboraters of this sinister plan, Disha was the one who contacted Greta. Disha was the one who created the group which was tasked to create the toolkit,” they added.
“She asked Greta to delete the toolkit, if she was innocuous, why did she ask Thunberg to remove the toolkit? This shows that there was a sinister plan behind this whole toolkit,” the ASG said further.
ASG Raju also contended that the police has material to prove that Disha Ravi wanted Greta Thunberg to show the updated toolkit to a person called Simon.” Simon was asked to check if it could be traced back to any individual,” he said.
Responding to the arguments made by the prosecution, advocate Siddharth Aggarwal appearing for Disha said that her client is a 22-year-old girl and her history has nothing to do with Khalistan.
It was further argued by Aggarwal that as per the allegations levelled by police, Fridays For Future is the only organization with which Disha is having a connection.
Disha has spoke with them but she hasn’t said that she is a part of this organization, he argued.
Aggarwal asked if Shantanu would come with protection from Bombay HC, then why should his client be in custody? He further argued that the Toolkit was not found with any of the alleged rioters.
“Could you find the toolkit in the pocket of the person who hoisted the flag at Red Fort? The police has arrested 149 people, has even one of them said he/she spoke to me? Or has anyone of them said that they were instigated by the Toolkit,” he argued.
Concluding his submissions, Aggarwal said it is not a case of sedition or incitement
Rebutting to the contentions put forth by Aggarwal, ASG S V Raju said, “It’s not about the history of PJF or something, it’s the person that you’re in touch with is a staunch Khalistani.”
“Toolkit is not be seen in isolation but you incited them and there is documentary evidence to that effect,” Raju said.
Questioning Raju, the court said, “Where is that evidence, that’s what I have been asking?”
“The link.. You click the link and you will get to know it is a Khalistani movement. Infact, the audience too was Khalistani,” Raju responded.
After hearing the arguments for more than three hours, the judge reserved his order.