Delhi police seeks info from Zoom

The Delhi Police on Tuesday defended the arrest of activist Disha Ravi in the toolkit case, asserting it has acted in accordance with the law, even as another suspect Shantanu Muluk was granted a 10-day pre-arrest bail by the Bombay High Court.

Intensifying its probe, the police have sought details from video conferencing platform Zoom about a January 11 meeting by a pro-Khalistan group on the controversial toolkit backing the farmers’ stir that has been cited by critics as “proof” of a conspiracy to fuel protests in India.

Ravi, who was on Sunday sent to a five-day police custody after being arrested in Bengaluru for allegedly creating the toolkit, was allowed by a Delhi court on Tuesday to speak with her family members over the phone for 15 minutes a day and meet her lawyer for 30 minutes a day.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma also asked the Delhi police to hand over to 21-year-old Ravi a copy of the FIR and other documents related to her arrest and permitted her access to warm clothes, masks, books, etc.

While several opposition parties and activists have questioned the manner in which Ravi was arrested and brought to the national capital, the Delhi Commission for Women on Tuesday sent a notice to the city police seeking a report by Friday on issues like why she was allegedly not produced before a court for transit remand and not provided a lawyer of her choice.

However, Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava denied any lapse.

“Disha Ravi’s arrest has been made in accordance with the law which doesn’t differentiate between a 22-year-old or a 50-year-old,” he told reporters at an event while dismissing criticism of the police action against Ravi.

According to the police, Ravi, along with Mumbai lawyer Nikita Jacob and Pune engineer Shantanu Muluk, created the “toolkit” related to the farmers’ agitation against agri laws that was posted on Twitter by climate activist Greta Thunberg.

It alleged that they shared it with others to “tarnish” India’s image and collaborated with pro-Khalistan elements.

Muluk, a resident of Beed in central Maharashtra, and Jacob had on Monday approached the high court separately seeking transit anticipatory bail after a Delhi court issued non-bailable warrants against them.

Justice Vibha Kankanwadi of the Aurangabad bench of the Mumbai High Court on Tuesday granted Muluk ten days’ transit anticipatory bail to enable him to apply for protection before an appropriate court in Delhi.

An order on Jacob’s plea would be passed on Wednesday, Justice P D Naik of the high court’s principal bench in Mumbai said after the hearing.

The case has been lodged under IPC sections 124(a) (sedition), 153 (a) (promoting enmity among different groups) and 120 (b) criminal conspiracy.