Disha Ravi toolkit case: Police mulls filing closure report
The investigation into the case against climate activist Disha Ravi has hit a roadblock, The Indian Express reported citing sources, adding the police may file a closure report. Officials have been waiting for responses from companies like Google and Zoom in connection with the case. Ravi was arrested earlier this year over a "toolkit" on the farmers' protest. Here are more details on this.
- The report indicates that Ravi may be freed from serious charges such as sedition and criminal conspiracy due to a lack of evidence.
- To recall, her arrest was widely criticized as the Indian government's attempt to stifle the farmers' protest which is still underway.
- A Delhi court, while granting bail to her, had said the police evidence in the case was "scanty and sketchy."
Ravi was arrested from her Bengaluru home on February 13 and released on bail 10 days later. She was accused of creating and distributing a Google document on the farmers' protest highlighting ways to support the agitation. Delhi Police said she had a role in the January 26 violence in Delhi. Mumbai-based advocate Nikita Jacob and engineer Shantanu Muluk were also booked.
Delhi Police had said that Ravi collaborated with the pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) to spread "disaffection against the Indian state." On February 23, Ravi was granted bail. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana had observed that "citizens are conscience keepers of government in any democratic nation" and "cannot be put behind the bars simply because they choose to disagree with the state policies."
However, months after the probe was launched, it has come to a halt. A Cyber Cell official said they had written to video communication platform Zoom in February but are yet to receive a response. Investigators faced the same issue when they contacted Google and Extinction Rebellion, the UK-based organization for which Jacob and Muluk work.
"We had found that Ravi and Nikita Jacob were allegedly on a Zoom call with PJF's Mo Dhaliwal, who is based in Canada, before the January 26 Red Fort violence, and needed details of the call," the official cited by TIE said. However, there was no response, the official said, adding "we can't send them any time-bound notice because they are not in India."