The Delhi Police on Monday, 15 February, said that an “action plan” for 26 January was laid out in a toolkit, which was created by climate activists Shantanu, Disha Ravi, and Nikita Jacob in order to ‘spread misinformation and disaffection against the government’.
Violence had erupted in parts of Delhi on 26 January during the farmers’ Republic Day tractor rally.
The police has alleged that the toolkit sought to artificially amplify fake news and precipitate action on 26 January.
“The main aim of the toolkit was to create misinformation and disaffection against the lawfully enacted government. It sought to artificially amplify fake news, other falsehoods, and also sought to precipitate action on 26 January, ie India’s Republic Day,” the police said in a statement.
The police’s version comes in contrast to Ravi’s claims she made in the court following her arrrest, that she was not a creator of the toolkit but only edited two lines in the document.
While the police also issued non-bailable warrants against Jacob and Shantanu in the matter, it said that highly incriminating evidence was found in Ravi’s phone who was arrested from Bengaluru.
‘Greta Coaxed To Act on Incriminating Toolkit’
The police said that Shantanu was the owner of the email account from which the toolkit was created.
“The initial examination of Nikita revealed that she and her associates, Shantanu and Disha, had created the toolkit Google document. The email account created by Shantanu is the owner of this document and all others are its editors,” the police said.
The police further revealed that a Zoom meeting took place on 11 January, attended by Jacob and Shantanu, and organised by the Poetic Justice foundation, which the police deems as a pro-Khalistani organisation, in which ‘the modalities of the Global Day of Action were worked out’.
According to Delhi police sources, the cops have sought a recording of the Zoom meeting on 11 January.
The police further said that a Canada-based woman named Puneet connected the three activists to the Poetic Justice Foundation.
“Based on the course of action decided in the Zoom meeting, Nikita, Shantanu, Disha, and others collaborated together to draft the toolkit document. The document that they drafted had secessionist and pro-Khalistani content embedded into it through links and texts,” the police said in a statement.
“Disha, who is associated with the environmental movement called Fridays for Future (FFF), sent the toolkit document to Greta Thunberg on Telegram and also coaxed her to act on it,” the statement said.
‘Due Process Followed During Probe & Arrest’
Prem Nath, Joint Commissioner, Cyber Cell, while addressing the media on Monday said that a search warrant was obtained from the court on 9 February against Jacob after enough information was gathered during the probe, following which a team conducted searches at Jacob’s Mumbai residence on 11 February.
Nath told the media that only Ravi has been arrested so far since Jacob and Shantanu are absconding. He further said that all necessary procedures were followed while arresting Ravi.
“Based on the incriminating evidence collected from Disha’s device and in view of the fact that she has deleted her WhatsApp group, she was arrested in the case,” the police statement said.
“Her arrest was made in the presence of her mother and local police. Her lawyer was informed and she was produced before the court as per established procedures,” the police said.
After she was produced in court, Ravi denied being part of any conspiracy and said that she didn't create the toolkit and just made two edits to it.
Ravi is one of the co-founders of FFF India, an offshoot of the climate movement kickstarted by Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg that mostly comprises school children and young college students.