Toolkit case: Goa-based climate activist granted transit bail
The Bombay high court at Goa has granted transit anticipatory bail to Goa-based climate activist Shubham Kar Chaudhuri, who is associated with global climate action collective Extinction Rebellion.
Chaudhuri, who is volunteering for Extinction Rebellion and is the South Asia liaison in charge of the organisation, had approached the Bombay high court in Goa fearing he would be arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the toolkit case which saw the arrest of 21-year-old Bengaluru-based climate activist Disha Ravi as well as warrants for Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk, two other activists associated with Extinction Rebellion.
Chaudhuri, 29, told the court that he has been falsely implicated and that he has no connection whatsoever to the offences alleged in the FIR by the Delhi Police. He said his name was embroiled in the case due to the fact that he was in contact with Jacob and Muluk who are also volunteers with Extinction Rebellion.
Chaudhuri also told the court that fellow activists Jacob and Muluk have already been granted transit anticipatory bail and that he too should be granted similar relief.
“The apprehension of arrest is made out by the applicant. The reasons for apprehension of arrest are justified in the facts and circumstances set out. Therefore, the applicant is entitled for protection by way of transit bail to approach the competent authority to seek appropriate reliefs,” Justice MS Jawalkar said while granting bail to Chaudhuri to allow him to approach the courts in Delhi.
Extinction Rebellion is a global collective of climate activists that calls itself “a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the climate and ecological emergency”.
Chaudhuri has been working in Goa since August 2020 and told the court he is an ardent environmentalist, actively involved in seeking ecologically sustainable solutions and proposing an environment-oriented approach towards policymaking. He said he has been working for the accreditation of khazan lands as a United Nations Agricultural Heritage Site besides volunteering with Extinction Rebellion.
A “toolkit” is a document created to explain any issue. It also provides information on what one needs to do to address the issue. This might include information about petitions, details about protests and mass movements.
The document was first publicised by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist, who has been vocal about her support to farmers agitating at Delhi border for over three months now.
Earlier, the Delhi Police had also asked Google and some social media giants to provide information about email IDs, URLs and certain social media accounts related to the creators of the toolkit.