Delhi Court has reserved the order in Disha Ravi’s bail application in the ‘toolkit’ case for February 23. The court asked Delhi Police about the evidence linking the toolkit to the Republic Day violence.
While Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the Delhi Police, kept claiming that Disha was connected to Khalistani organisations, advocate Siddharth Agarwal, representing her, submitted that she had no connection with them. “I’m 22 years old, living in Bengaluru. My history has nothing to do with Khalistan,” Disha told the court through her lawyer. “They have not indicated a single conversation between Sikhs for Justice and her. They don’t even say that Sikhs for Justice is connected to the Poetic Justice Foundation,” her lawyer added.
During the hearing, the prosecution claimed that Disha is a member of the Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), which is allegedly connected to the banned-Khalistani group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), therefore making Disha an accomplice in Khalistani activities. “If I meet someone in some context, how am I to know that they are secessionists? He may be a secessionist in one aspect of his life and not in others,” Disha’s counsel told the court.
Advocate Agarwal told the court that the ‘toolkit’ has no disaffection. “The communication should have the ability to cause disaffection. The toolkit has no disaffection,” he said, adding, “Today prosecution says it’s not in the toolkit. It will be found elsewhere because these people are bad. This is not sedition.” Moreover, Disha’s counsel added that the police FIR states that she has attacked yoga and chai. “Is this the parameter for sedition?” he asked.
While the Delhi Police told the court that Disha might have allegedly used other devices and her WhatsApp number to make the group, Disha told the court, “I was remanded for five days. I am extremely surprised by the submissions that there could be more devices. You [police] didn’t take me to Bengaluru, not even once, for searching.”
Meanwhile, according to the Delhi Police, a cover-up operation took place when activist Greta Thunberg uploaded the original ‘toolkit’. ASG SV Raju said that the ‘toolkit’ had a cheat sheet that contained information defaming the Indian Army and it had nothing about the farmers’ protest. “This toolkit was cleverly designed. You are taken to sites that defame the Indian Army. About internet cut in Kashmir, and the crushing of Kashmir's right to self-determination by Indian Army. And also about how the Indian Army committed genocide in Kashmir,” Raju told the court.
While opposing the bail plea, Raju said that many parts of the original ‘toolkit’ were deleted. “Ravi had the right to edit the toolkit and she later deleted everything. This is the working of a guilty mind,” Raju told the Delhi court. The ASG added that the co-accused Nikita Jacob removed evidence as well. “Nikita was absconding. She had the right to edit the toolkit. She removed the evidence. This is also the working of a guilty mind,” Raju said.
Meanwhile, sections 201 and 204 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), dealing with the destruction of evidence, were added against Disha. Raju wanted the Court to deny Disha’s bail stating that she is “destroying evidence”. Raju said that Disha and Nikita are the local corroborators of a sinister plan. “These are all connected to the Khalistan movement,” he said.
When the court asked if there were any direct link between the conspirators and the violence, the ASG and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) said that the investigation is underway. “What exactly is the evidence connecting her with the Republic Day violence? Is there any evidence, or are we required to merely work on surmises, conjectures?”
Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmad reiterated to the court that his submissions that toolkit was used to instigate people. Seeing the response of the Delhi Police’s counsel, the Court said, “Unless I satisfy my conscience, I can’t move ahead.”
Meanwhile, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg finally broke her silence on Disha’s arrest and extended her support. In a tweet, Thunberg said, “Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy.” She used the hashtag #StandWithDishaRavi