The Delhi Police Special Cell procured five-day custody of 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi from the court to identify Pro-Khalistani Group – Poetic Justice Foundation and its active members, and to recover the deleted WhatsApp Group.
Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru on Saturday in connection with allegedly editing and sharing a ‘toolkit’ on social media related to the farmers’ protest. She was produced before the court the next day and was remanded to five days police custody.
During the course of proceedings, the police told Duty Metropolitan Magistrate Dev Saroha that her custody is necessary to recover the deleted WhatsApp Group having “vital information” along with other devices and mobiles used in the offence.
“It is further stated that for proper investigation, her detailed interrogation is required to get information by the Pro Khalistani Group Poetic Justice Foundation and their active members are to be identified,” according to the court’s order copy.The court, while remanding her to the custody of the police, directed medical test to be conducted. She will now be produced before the court on February 19 at the end of the custody period.
While seeking her custody for interrogation, the Delhi Police told the court that, “It is a larger conspiracy against the government of India.” The accused broke down in the courtroom and told the judge that she did not make the toolkit but only “edited two on February 3”.
Legal Aid Counsel (LAC) Pramod Singh appeared for the accused, while Delhi Police Investigating Officer (IO) Praveen Kumar came to court with the case file.
The Cyber Cell had lodged an FIR against “pro-Khalistan” creators of the “toolkit” for waging a “social, cultural and economic war against the government of India”.
On Sunday, the Delhi Police took to microblogging website Twitter to elaborate on the case. It wrote, “Disha Ravi, arrested by Delhi Police, is an Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc and key conspirator in document’s formulation and dissemination.”
She started the WhatsApp Group and collaborated to make the Toolkit document, the police said, adding that she worked closely with them to draft it.
“In this process, they all collaborated with pro Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State. She was the one who shared the Toolkit Doc with Greta Thunberg,” the police wrote on Twitter.
The role of two more activists is under scanner in the ‘Toolkit’ document case. Non-bailable warrants are out against activists Nikita Jacob, who is a lawyer by profession, and Shantanu as a police team is looking for them.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has expressed his opposition to Ravi’s arrest saying the move by the Delhi Police was an “unprecedented attack on democracy”.
“Arrest of 21-yr-old Disha Ravi is an unprecedented attack on democracy. Supporting our farmers is not a crime,” he said in a tweet.