Disha Ravi
Disha Ravi
(Disha Ravi/Facebook)

An additional sessions judge in Delhi on Saturday reserved its order for pronouncement on next Tuesday on the bail plea of Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old climate activist from Karnataka accused by Delhi Police of creating a toolkit to help the farmers protesting against the Centre's controversial farm laws.

She was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13 by a cyber cell team of Delhi Police, brought here and booked for sedition and other charges. A trial court on Friday sent her to a 3-day judicial lockup after her 5-day police custody expired.

The judge, Dharmendra Rana, had his own doubts on the case built by police as he pointedly asked: "Is there any evidence or are we acting on the basis of surmises and conjectures?"

He sought evidence linking the toolkit used by her with the violence in Delhi on the Republic Day when additional solicitor general SV Raju claimed on behalf of police that the document by her has to be read with hashtags and links to show all were meant to "instigate people to come on street and create a public disorder."

Delhi Police vehemently opposed the bail plea filed by Disha on Friday, while her lawyer rubbished all the charges and wondered how the sedition charge be levelled against her that was not even slapped on those indulging in violence on January 26.

She said if supporting a protest is sedition, she would like better to be in jail. She said through her lawyer: "If highlighting farmers' protest globally is sedition, I am better in jail." The lawyer asserted that in the first place, the police should not have arrested her since it has no evidence to show that the toolkit on farmers' protest is responsible for the violence in Delhi on January 26.

He said none of those arrested for the Red Fort violence has said that he was inspired because of the toolkit and as such there is no evidence to show the toolkit behind the violence. He also questioned the FIR, wondering if one can be accused of targeting Yoga and Chai. He said the talk of alleged genocide in Kashmir has been going on for years and it can't suddenly become sedition.

The additional solicitor general countered: "This was not just a toolkit. The real plan was to defame India and create unrest in the country." He said Disha knew the legal actions in store for her and that is why she deleted WhatsApp chats, emails and other evidence. Why did she cover her tracks and delete evidence if she did not commit any wrong? he asked.

Claiming a sinister design behind the toolkit, he said Disha was "part of the Indian chapter of the global conspiracy to defame India and create unrest in the garb of farmers' protest and that is why she was in touch and preparing and sharing the toolkit with those advocating Khalistan.

On her plea to restrain police from leaking to the media the probe material, Delhi High Court had on Friday asked the media not to broadcast any leaked investigation material as it could affect the probe.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal