Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj and Puneet Bhatia
Advocate Nikita Jacob, who faces arrest in connection with the Greta Thunberg ‘toolkit’ controversy, for which climate activist Disha Ravi is already in custody, has told the Delhi Police that her intent was never to incite violence and there was nothing illegal in what she did.
In her statement to the Delhi Police, accessed by Hindustan Times, the 30-year-old has pointed out that the document was simply an “information pack". She has now been granted transit anticipatory bail for three weeks by the the Principal Bench of the Bombay High Court.
But, who is Nikita Jacob?
Briefly: A lawyer and environment activist, who appears to enjoy photography, baking and blogging in her free time, and is motivated towards “speaking for those who don’t have the privilege” to do so.
But there’s more:
As a Maharashtra-based lawyer, Nikita practises at the Bombay High Court.
She is also an alumni of the ILS Law College, Pune, and is enrolled at the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa.
She has worked as a Senior Associate (Advocate) at SK Legal Associates and as an Associate at Tatva Legal. At the chambers of Senior Advocate Girish Godbole, she has served a little over three years.
Speaking to India Today, Godbole described her as “good at her work”. He added that they had never imagined that she would face a criminal case someday.
Nikita is a volunteer of the global environment movement Extinction Rebellion (XR). She became part of XR approximately two years ago, as per a TOI report.
XR has been described by TOI as “a global community of climate change activists that claims to follow principals of a non-violent civil disobedience movement.”
Nikita has reportedly been active in raising awareness while working on the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, slated to be held in Glasgow, in November 2021. Her job entailed consulting experts and activists about environmental impact of various projects.
According to Hindustan Times, Nikita said that the ‘toolkit’ primarily focuses on farm issues, the right to express dissent and the larger democracy, and was being prepared by XR India volunteers for presenting the whole picture with a simple breakdown before an international audience.
Nikita also told the Delhi Police that the draft toolkit was shared on the XR WhatsApp group for comments and feedback before being finalised on 22 January and circulated within XR networks.
A fellow environmentalist of hers reportedly told TOI that “Nikita is an outspoken, confident lawyer and not a part of AAP or any political organisation".
“She’s a climate activist who works of her own accord with multiple movements and uses her legal know-how and skills to help out.”
Nikita has been known to enjoy photography, baking, writing and singing, according to TOI.
She also started a blog amid the pandemic titled ‘To Be Myself, Come What’, the purpose of which she said was to “encourage others to do good, achieve peace and a better world.”
A source familiar with Nikita and Shantanu Muluk (who, too, is facing arrest in the case), reportedly told TOI:
“Nikita and Shantanu are people who were speaking up for those who don’t have the privilege to talk.”