Toolkit case: Shantanu Muluk moves Delhi court for anticipatory bail

Shantanu Muluk, the co-accused in the toolkit case involving climate activist Disha Ravi, Tuesday moved a Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail. The court is also going to hear the bail plea of Ravi later today, who was remanded to one day police custody.

Muluk, along with Ravi and another accused Nikita Jacob, was booked for alleged sedition and other charges in connection with allegedly being involved in sharing a “toolkit” on social media related to the farmers’ protest.

The application moved by Muluk is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana.

Ravi, who was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma by police at the expiry of her three-day judicial custody on Monday, was remanded to one-day police custody.

The magistrate had observed that while the case against the activist involves “allegations to spread hatred, disaffection” to “undermine India’s sovereignty”, “a balance must be struck with the individual’s right”. He had further said Ravi’s confrontation with her co-accused was necessary as “the role played by each of them in deletion of the original toolkit would come to light, which is very necessary for a fair investigation”

Earlier today, Ravi was brought to the Delhi Police Cyber Cell office to be confronted with co-accused Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk. Jacob and Muluk had earlier secured transit bail from the Bombay High Court, providing them protection from arrest.

According to the public prosecutor, Ravi had “shifted all the burden onto the co-accused” during questioning. Police also said Jacob and Muluk had joined the investigation only on Monday and they had not had “much time” to question them.

Bengaluru-based Ravi was arrested on February 13 along with two other activists in connection with a toolkit on the farmers’ protest, which had been tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Ravi used to volunteer for Thunberg’s Fridays for Future (FFF) organisation in Bengaluru.

The Delhi Police has alleged that Ravi was the “key conspirator” in the formulation and dissemination of the document and that she collaborated with pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation to “spread disaffection against Indian state” and also shared the doc with Thunberg. The police also claimed that Ravi had sent the toolkit to Thunberg through the Telegram app, and also “coaxed her to act on it”.

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