New Delhi: Climate activist Disha Ravi has been sent to jail for three days after she was produced in a court on Friday by the Delhi Police. The 22-year-old was arrested from her Bengaluru home last week and faces charges of conspiracy and sedition. On Saturday, the court will hear her petition for bail.
The police have said that the Google document which was tweeted by Swedish climate crusader Greta Thunberg earlier this month to back farmers’ protest and then deleted, was created by Ravi and two other activists, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk. The probe into this “toolkit” is part of Delhi Police’s investigation into the Republic Day violence in the national capital after farmers took out a tractor rally.
Stressing on the possibility of “evidence tampering”, the cops sought three more days of judicial custody for Ravi. “We have issued notices to several others to join the probe. In this case, we have issued notice to Shantanu and we want to confront Disha and Shantanu,” Delhi Police told Patiala House court where Ravi was produced after being in police custody for five days. “During the course of interrogation, Disha Ravi has shifted the blame on Nikita and Shantanu,” police claimed.
Ravi’s arrest had sparked huge outrage as opposition leaders called it “atrocious” and farmer leaders condemned it. “I did not make the toolkit. We wanted to support the farmers. I edited two lines on February 3,” Disha Ravi had told the court on Sunday.
Amid criticism, however, Delhi Police had justified the action. “Highly incriminating information was recovered from Disha’s phone, which made it clear that she made the document (toolkit) along with Shantanu and Nikita and sent it to others,” senior Delhi Police officer Prem Nath told reporters on Monday.
“The main aim of the toolkit was to spread misinformation against the lawfully elected government. They also sought public participation in the action on January 26, Republic Day of India. We acted against Disha because she deleted a WhatsApp group created to coordinate for the toolkit,” he had said.
Earlier today, Delhi High Court cautioned media against sensationalism. Ravi had petitioned the court seeking action against three news channels and direction to the police to not leak investigation material, including alleged contents of her private chats. Investigators have denied leaking any private chats to the reporters.
The news channels have been told by the High Court to “ensure that proper editorial control is exercised while disseminating information to ensure investigation is not hampered”.