‘Toolkit’ Controversy: Who Are Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk?

Who are Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk and what has the Delhi Police alleged?

2 min read

A day after Delhi Police arrested Bengaluru-based climate activist Disha Ravi on charges of sedition for having allegedly edited a toolkit which Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg shared on Twitter, two more activists came under the spotlight – Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk.

Who are they and what is the police alleging?

Nikita Jacob is a practicing lawyer in the Bombay High Court and Shantanu Muluk is an environmentalist who had quit his aerospace engineering job around six months back, to focus on the parched regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada.

From the press conference held on 15 February, we know that the Delhi Police had named the three accused – Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu – as the editors and creators of the ‘toolkit’, that allegedly laid out an “action plan” for 26 January.


The police further said 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 a pro-Khalistani organisation, in which ‘the modalities of the Global Day of Action (26 January) were worked out.’

In her defence, Jacob has stated that the toolkit was simply an information pack, that her intent was never to incite violence and that there was nothing illegal in what she did.

Shantanu Muluk, who was granted transit anticipatory bail on 16 February after a Delhi court issued a non-bailable warrant against him, had said in his bail plea before the Bombay High Court:

"... 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.”

Naturally, the statements of the police and the accused contrast... so, in this episode, we are going to try and see where the law stands on ‘toolkits’ and sedition, and how the law should treat Shantanu and Nikita Jacob's case.

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