Order on Disha Ravi's bail plea reserved, judge asks for evidence linking toolkit to R-Day violence
A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order on the bail plea of Disha Ravi, the climate activist who has been accused by the police of creating a toolkit to help farmers protesting against Centre's farm laws. She was arersted on February 13.
The court will now pronounce its order on Tuesday, the judge said. While the Delhi Police vehemently opposed Ravi's bail plea, her lawyer rubbished all the charges against the 22-year-old activist.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, representing Delhi Police, linked the toolkit with the violence in Delhi on Repblic Day. The judge then asked about any evidence linking the two.
On Saturday, additional sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana asked, "Is there is any evidence or are we acting on the basis of surmises and conjectures?" To this, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju appearing on behalf of Delhi Police replied that the document will have to be read along with the hashtags and links it contained, which were meant to "instigate people asking them to come on streets thus resulting in public disorder".
The police further said that they have arrested seven people and investigation is on.
"It is not a simple or innocent toolkit. This is not only one individual who have been involved and they are aware of the Khalistani movement," said ASG Raju.
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg had briefly tweeted a link to the toolkit earlier this month that police are investigating before replacing it with an "updated" one.
"In garb of farmers' protest, they wanted to carry out anti-national activities. After the toolkit got leaked in the social media, a cover-up operation was done and many parts of the toolkit were deleted. They panicked. Had they not done anything wrong, they would not have destroyed the evidences," said the lawyer.
He also pointed to the involvement of Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), a Canada-based organisation headed by Mo Dhaliwal.
"Dhaliwal's object it to create a Khalistani state. He has stated on his social media about it. He was mobilising support for its creation. They wanted to take advantage of the farmer agitation and carry out their activities. They needed an Indian face. If they would have done it directly, then they would have been exposed," said Raju.
Justice Rana then again asked him about incriminating material collected against Ravi. The lawyer replied that Ravi has been involved in evidence tampering. "Such persons cannot be enlarged on bail," the ASG said.
Her lawyer Sidharth Agarwal denied the allegations and said that Ravi's cause is only environment and the farmers. He also said that Ravi's history has nothing to do with the Khalistan movement. "There is no disaffection being spread by the toolkit," said Agarwal.
Rejecting the charge of incitement of violence, he further said, "The toolkit says that people should join the march of Republic Day. Police gave the permission for the march and if I call people to join the march, then can I be called seditious?"
Ravi moved the bail please a day after she was sent to three-day judicial custody by a court in connection with the toolkit case. She was earlier sent to five-day police custody after the cops claimed that Ravi created the toolkit - a Google document - to help farmers protesting against government's three farm laws.
The Delhi Police started investigation in the toolkit case after Thunberg's tweet in favour of farmers' protest.
The farmers have been protesting near Delhi since late November, calling for the repeal of the three central laws. The government has held multiple rounds of talks with the protesters but the impasse continues.