Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13 by Delhi Police for allegedly creating and sharing the protest toolkit backing the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s new farm laws.(ANI Photo)
Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13 by Delhi Police for allegedly creating and sharing the protest toolkit backing the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s new farm laws.(ANI Photo)

Order on Disha’s bail reserved for Tuesday

Even as additional sessions judge (ASJ) Dharmender Rana asked the Delhi Police to present anything that could link the “toolkit” with the violence and, consequently, the conspiracy for which Ravi was charged, the police said the case was still being investigated.
By Richa Banka, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 12:49 AM IST

A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order on the bail plea of 22-year-old Disha Ravi, who is facing sedition charges for allegedly amplifying violence during a farmers’ protest by creating an online “toolkit”, even as the climate activist’s counsel said there was no evidence to show that the document was responsible for the violence on January 26.

Even as additional sessions judge (ASJ) Dharmender Rana asked the Delhi Police to present anything that could link the “toolkit” with the violence and, consequently, the conspiracy for which Ravi was charged, the police said the case was still being investigated.

Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13 by Delhi Police for allegedly creating and sharing the protest toolkit backing the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s new farm laws. Delhi Police claimed on Monday that Ravi, along with Mumbai-based lawyer Nikita Jacob and Pune engineer Shantanu Muluk, created the toolkit and shared it with others “to tarnish India’s image” and that “pro-Khalistani” elements were included in the document. The two have already been granted transit anticipatory bail by the Bombay high court.

If highlighting the farmers’ protest globally was sedition, then she was “better in jail”, activist Ravi told the Delhi court.

During the three-hour hearing, the judge asked the police whether they had any evidence that the “toolkit” incited violence during the tractors’ rally. “How is the toolkit connected to the violence? What is the evidence? Is there is any evidence or are we acting on the basis of surmises and conjectures?” the judge asked the police.

To this, additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju told the court that in a conspiracy, people could have different roles. He said that someone inspired by the toolkit could have been instigated to commit violence. Raju told the court 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”. He said that because of the toolkit, some elements put a flag on the Red Fort as the document had a list of tasks to be undertaken to support the cause of the Khalistani movement.

“First is the violence…Toolkit precedes the violence. Go inside Delhi, do this, do that,” Raju said.

The court asked the ASG: “What’s ‘do this and that’? What is the link? Unless I satisfy my conscience, I don’t move ahead”.

Raju contended that the “toolkit” had to be read along with the hashtag and links, which were of seditious nature.

“It is not a simple message. The links are inciting people. Asks them to march into Delhi…. People are being told there is genocide in Kashmir… It defames the armed forces and talks about Assam.

“The result was public disorder and disturbance of public peace… The toolkit showed India is bad country, it is killing Muslims. The flag was hoisted… We still want to investigate. We will certainly discover other things… We will be required to have a second look,” Raju said.

The court, however, said: “What exactly is the evidence against this lady connecting her with the violence? Please don’t be repetitive. Apart from Khalistani link and that she was in touch… How do you connect the actual actors with these conspirators,” the court said.

The investigating officer said that Ravi was connected to Poetic Justice Foundation, a Vancouver-based organisation. “The execution of conspiracy is different from the conspiracy. Conspiracy is meeting of minds. The requirement of law is that conspiracy is complete. Others have different roles. My intention was that a person reads the toolkit and gets swayed by it,” Raju said.

The judge sought to know from the police whether the actual actors were arrested or not and whether any link was established. It asked whether there is any link between the conspiracy and the offence. “Should I assume that for now, there is no direct link? Have you arrested the actual actors? Have you established any link? Either I’ve not framed my query correctly or you don’t want to answer it. What is connecting in link between the conspiracy and the offence,” the judge said.

Additional public prosecutor Irfan Ahmed told the court that the “toolkit” had embedded links which directed readers to various anti-India websites.

The court sought to know whether there was a documentary evidence to show that the “toolkit” had incited violence. It also sought to know how “chai” and “yoga” were used to tarnish India’s image, as alleged by the probe agency.

The police said that it was the entire “toolkit” of which “chai” and “yoga” were also a part, which are symbols being used to defame India. The police said that after the “toolkit” was leaked on social media, a cover-up operation was carried out and many of its parts were deleted. After this, sections 201 and 204 of the Indian penal Code (IPC) – which deal with destruction of evidence – were added against the activist. The ASG also said that the “toolkit” had a cheatsheet which contained information which defames the Indian Army and had nothing to do with the farmers’ protest.

“Ravi had the right to edit the toolkit and she later deleted everything. This is the working of a guilty mind,” said the lawyer, adding that the “toolkit” was part of a “sinister design”. He said that a co-accused, Shantanu, was sent to Delhi to ensure the proper execution of the “toolkit”.

During the hearing, the court also sought to know the past antecedents of Mo Dhaliwal and Anita Lal, founders of Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) and asked as to how the police were ascertaining that they were supporting the Khalistani movement.

Advocate Siddharth Aggarwal told the court that Ravi’s work and her cause were meant to save the environment and she did not intend to “sow disaffection”. “There is no disaffection being spread by the toolkit. It is just a digital document. My history has nothing to do with Khalistan. My connection is not with Sikhs For Justice or PJF. In this case, it is clear that thinking otherwise is attracting sedition,” Ravi’s lawyer Aggarwal told the court on behalf of his client.

“I have no connection with the Khalistan movement, whatsoever. There is no single chat or conversation between me and the (banned organisation) Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) produced by the Delhi Police,” the counsel argued. He also contended that speaking to a secessionist did not make Ravi one too.

The court reserved its order and said that it would pronounce the verdict on Tuesday.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Union minister Smriti Irani addresses a press conference, in New Delhi. (PTI)
Union minister Smriti Irani addresses a press conference, in New Delhi. (PTI)

‘Women are not pleading, they are leading’: Smriti Irani

By Vinod Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:53 AM IST
  • Smriti Irani says, "I’m the only female politician who’s also recognised by her former vocation. I recognise the bias in that."
Close
Another senior official said on condition of anonymity that the second half of the session, which starts on Monday, may run for just two weeks.(PTI)
Another senior official said on condition of anonymity that the second half of the session, which starts on Monday, may run for just two weeks.(PTI)

2nd half of Budget session may be cut short due to state polls

By Saubhadra Chatterji, Sunetra Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:40 AM IST
  • An official said that both Houses could meet at 11 am from the second week following the vaccination of eligible MPs.
Close
Bodies of the man and his son were found in the house while the bodies of the three woman were found near the house, the official added.
Bodies of the man and his son were found in the house while the bodies of the three woman were found near the house, the official added.

Five of family found dead in Chhattisgarh

By Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Raipur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:27 AM IST
  • A suicide note found at the spot said they took the decision because of acute financial distress, an official said.
Close
Parliament in September 2020 approved an Ordinance promulgated in June to improve revenue from the mining sector and the Centre now wants states to carry out these changes too.(REUTERS)
Parliament in September 2020 approved an Ordinance promulgated in June to improve revenue from the mining sector and the Centre now wants states to carry out these changes too.(REUTERS)

Govt plan to take over mine auctions faces opposition from a few states

By Chetan Chauhan, Gerard de Souza, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Goa
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:21 AM IST
  • The changes have been opposed by some states who see it as another attempt by the Centre to take over mining auctions and impose central rules on a state domain.
Close
India must rapidly build and nurture grassroots-based habitat monitoring and governance.(Representational Photo/HT File)
India must rapidly build and nurture grassroots-based habitat monitoring and governance.(Representational Photo/HT File)

India must strive to catch the ecological bus

By Bharati Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:16 AM IST
  • A re-invigorated biodiversity management policy is India’s survival strategy. At this point in our development trajectory, we don’t pay any heed to either biodiversity or landscape conservation.
Close
Satellite image of NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System of forest fires.(Courtesy- NASA)
Satellite image of NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System of forest fires.(Courtesy- NASA)

Early summer, lack of rain spark fires

By Jayashree Nandi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:10 AM IST
  • According to Forest Survey of India’s forest fire alert system, there were 2,317 fire points last year between February 26 and March 7, but the figure rose to 53,211 this time after data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) was taken into account.
Close
Selvi at the age of 32 rappelled down blindfolded from a 155 feet high rock mountain in a Tamil Nadu village(Representative Image )
Selvi at the age of 32 rappelled down blindfolded from a 155 feet high rock mountain in a Tamil Nadu village(Representative Image )

Woman, 32, mother of two rappels down 155-feet mountain blindfolded in 58 sec

ANI, Kancheepuram
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:54 PM IST
The record was entered in the UNICO Book of World Records and was certified by an official adjudicator R. Sivaraman.
Close
The incident took place in Transit Camp Colony of Rudrapur on February 19, 2019, when the boy went missing, Gupta said.(HT file photo)
The incident took place in Transit Camp Colony of Rudrapur on February 19, 2019, when the boy went missing, Gupta said.(HT file photo)

24-yr-old man gets death for rape, murder of 5-yr-old boy

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Rudrapur
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:56 AM IST
Special Pocso judge Vijay Laxmi Vihan also awarded four years of imprisonment to the father of the accused and three years to his mother for concealing the crime, Vikas Gupta, special assistant district government counsel, said.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Every breach of promise to marry doesn’t mean rape: SC

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:10 PM IST
New Delhi A charge of rape is not applicable in every case where a man does not marry his girlfriend after a promise, the Supreme Court has held
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Women are not pleading, they’re leading: Smriti Irani

By Vinod Sharma
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:57 PM IST
New Delhi: On the eve of the International Women’s Day, union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani spoke to HT on the challenges and opportunities the women have in the country, her role as a minister and the BJP’s battle axe against the Congress
Close
"The state government is taking a series of measures to take women on the path of development and progress," K Chandrasekhar Rao said. (HT File photo)
"The state government is taking a series of measures to take women on the path of development and progress," K Chandrasekhar Rao said. (HT File photo)

Telangana government declares holiday for women employees on Women's Day

ANI, Hyderabad, Telangana
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:55 PM IST
"Women are competing with men in all the fields and are excelling. Women, who constitute 50 per cent of the population, would do wonders if they were given a chance," Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said.
Close
Mohammed Muthu Meeran Maraickayar died on Sunday(ANI Photo )
Mohammed Muthu Meeran Maraickayar died on Sunday(ANI Photo )

APJ Abdul Kalam's brother Mohammed Muthu Meeran passes way at 104

PTI, Rameswaram
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:48 PM IST
Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam conveyed condolences over Mohammed Muthu Meeran's demise.
Close
Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander Shaliza Dhami(ANI Photo )
Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander Shaliza Dhami(ANI Photo )

Aircraft doesn't know if man or woman officer is flying it: IAF’s Shaliza Dhami

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:35 PM IST
During the Budget Session in Parliament last month, the government informed that the headcount of women in the military has increased almost three-fold over the last six years.
Close
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait addresses during the ongoing farmer protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Sunday.(ANI Photo)
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait addresses during the ongoing farmer protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Sunday.(ANI Photo)

Will hold meeting with Kolkata farmers on March 13: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:22 PM IST
When asked about the stalemate between farmers and the Centre even after more than 100 days, Tikait said that the government, sooner or later, will have to pay heed to farmers' issues.
Close
"They are not at all a challenge (to the party leadership. They have said their leaders are Sonia and Rahul Gandhi," Singh said referring to the G-23.(HT file photo)
"They are not at all a challenge (to the party leadership. They have said their leaders are Sonia and Rahul Gandhi," Singh said referring to the G-23.(HT file photo)

No leadership challenge from G-32 leaders, says Digvijaya Singh

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:52 PM IST
These leaders, also being called G-23, had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi seeking dissolution of power to state units, revamp of the CWC etc, and had recently held a meet in Jammu.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP