‘Toolkit’ Case Accused Shantanu Left Engineering Job for Activism
Shantanu Muluk, accused in ‘toolkit’ case, had left an aerospace engineering job to focus on environmental activism.
Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
Beed resident Shantanu Muluk – one of the three environment activists accused by Delhi Police of having collaborated with a ‘pro-Khalistani outfit’ in bringing out a ‘toolkit’ on farmers’ protest – had quit his aerospace engineering job around six months back, to focus on the parched regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada.
As part of his shift to environmental activism, the 31-year-old had become a member of several green justice reading groups and kept a penchant for forming linkages between youth-led groups speaking up for the environment, reports The Times of India.
Muluk, however, has been accused of making the Google document along with Nikita Jacob, which, according to the Delhi Police, was eventually tweeted by Swedish climate change activist, Greta Thunberg.
According to the Delhi Police, the Google document in question is associated with Muluk’s email ID. Along with Muluk, two others, advocate Nikita Jacob and 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi, have been named by the Delhi police in the case.
Ravi, who was picked up by the Delhi Police from Bengaluru on 13 February, has been slapped with sedition.
A Shy & Respectful Person, Say Friends
Muluk had completed BE, Mechanical Engineering from Doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, following which he went to the Old Dominion University in Virginia, US.
Family members back in Beed district’s Chanakyapuri area say they had last spoken to Muluk around a week back, when he was in Delhi. According to them, he was working in Aurangabad and was planning on starting with new project work in Pune.
Meanwhile, according to an India Today report, the Delhi Police has said that Muluk was present at the farmers’ protest in Tikri between 20 to 27 January and had left a day after the Republic Day violence.
Described by his friends as a shy and respectful person who enjoys sci-fi movies as much as reading and travelling, Muluk is one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion in India, better known as XR India.
A quick look at the XR India website, smeared in bold and colourful clarion calls for saving the environment, shows how the organisation wanted masses to act against “the sixth mass extinction: an extinction of our own making.”
Shantanu Not Linked to Shiv Sena: Cousin
While Shantanu’s cousin Sachin Muluk has been the Shiv Sena’s Zila Parishad chief for nearly four years, the latter dismissed allegations of the environmental activist’s links to the saffron party.
Sachin maintained that his cousin Shantanu is “in no way related to the Shiv Sena and had never participated in any party activities.” The same was echoed by other Shiv Sena workers in the area.
Sachin further said that Shantanu would remain occupied with environmental activism and that the two had last met at a family function on 7 February.
‘Charges Destructive for My Life’
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, 16 February, granted transit anticipatory bail to Muluk, who had moved the application after a Delhi court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
“It is submitted that apparently vendetta has trickled down from politics to the house of a common man making a mockery of the rights and principles enshrined in the Constitution of India. That such vendetta, which is the dark face of authoritarianism, is the real ‘toolkit’ for devastation of not only of democracy but also basic human rights.”Muluk, in his bail plea before the Bombay High Court
Further, he contended that the charges so drawn against him "would be destructive for his life and his family to carry a false blot of being an anti-national."
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