A second toolkit was in works: Delhi Police
The Delhi Police on Wednesday said the activists involved in the creation of a social media toolkit on the ongoing farmers’ protests prepared a second document to organise a Twitter storm aimed at “creating unrest” in Delhi on February 4 and 5 with hashtags related to the violence during January 26 tractor rally, but could not execute it.
Investigators said the second document was created by Nikta Jacob, Shantanu Muluk -- two activists who have been accused of creating and sharing the first document -- and and a UK-based activist Marina Patterson, who is allegedly linked with the global movement “Extinction Rebellion” also referred to as “XR”.
According to its website, Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.
“The plan mentioned in the second toolkit, however, could not be executed. We suspect it happened because the toolkit was accidentally tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on February 3, the day Ravi shared it with her and coaxed her to act on it. Since the Google toolkit documents contained objectionable content, Ravi panicked, asked Greta to delete the tweet, took the admin rights and removed her name from the toolkit,” said a second senior police officer associated with the case, requesting anonymity.
According to the officer, the investigating team has already written to Google seeking details of both toolkit documents to ascertain where they were actually created, who drafted and edited them, and with whom it was shared.
The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi from Bengaluru on charges of sedition, intending to riot and criminal conspiracy, for editing and creating a toolkit, essentially a Google document. The police have alleged that the toolkit was created to spread misinformation and incite unrest. They have also alleged that Disha shared the document with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg who tweeted it but later removed it.
Both Muluk and Jacob have been grated pre-arrest bail court.
Activists from various organisations have said that creating a toolkit was standard operating procedure for advocacy and media outreach, and did not constitute a crime as it was entirely up to people whether or not to follow what toolkits suggested.
Protests against the arrests of the activists continued on Wednesday with members of the Congress-backed NSUI demonstrating in Delhi, accusing the police of an “authoritarian crackdown”
In a statement, NSUI president Neeraj Kundan said, “The government uses tough laws and misuses them to silence all dissenting voices.”