Delhi Police to probe role of UK-based woman in toolkit case; suspect Nikita Jacob gets transit pre-arrest bail

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New Delhi/Mumbai, Feb 17 (PTI) Delhi Police Wednesday said a UK-based woman based allegedly drafted the content of a 'Twitter storm' campaign in February in support of the ongoing farmer agitation along with lawyer Nikita Jacob and engineer Shantanu Muluk and her role will be investigated.

In Mumbai, the Bombay High Court granted transit anticipatory bail to Nikita, a day after a similar interim relief was given to another suspect in the case Shantanu.

Justice P D Naik gave Nikita three weeks' time to approach the court concerned in Delhi for relief.

The court in its order noted the applicant is a permanent resident of Mumbai and the FIR is lodged in Delhi, and the relief sought by her now is only temporary.

It said since Nikita would be approaching the court concerned in Delhi to seek anticipatory bail, it would not be appropriate for this court to make any observations on merits of the case.

Delhi Police, probing the 'toolkit Google doc' backing the farmers' agitation shared by climate activist Greta Thunberg, has arrested Bengaluru-based activist Disha Ravi.

It claimed that the woman, who is a member of the UK chapter of Extinction Rebellion (XR), along with Nikita and Shantanu drafted the content between February 1 and 2 for next tweet storm planned for February 4 and 5.

Meanwhile, Shantanu's father has told police that two persons claiming to be Delhi Police personnel seized a computer hard disk and other items from his house in Beed in Maharashtra without a search warrant on February 12.

Shivlal Muluk had made a representation to the police on Tuesday, Beed superintendent of police Raja Ramaswami said, adding it will probe and take needful action.

Speaking to reporters in Delhi, a senior police officer said the UK-based woman joined Nikita and Shantanu and 'made a package and added to the document' through hyperlink.

While examining the WhatsApp chats, another name Thilaka, also a member of XR, emerged and during investigation, police found that Thilaka also helped them in drafting the document and was in contact with Nikita and Disha, police claimed.

However, police did not divulge more information on Thilaka and said it is part of investigation.

Elaborating the sequence of the event, the officer said Nikita, Shantanu and Disha connected with each other between 2019-2020. Puneet, a Canada-based woman and member of the Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), connected with Nikita and Shantanu on Instagram in the first week of December.

On December 6, Jacob, Muluk and Disha Ravi started a WhatsApp group. Shantanu created an email id -- scrapfarmacts@gmail.com -- on December 11. PJF started its work on the January 26 protest on January 3. On January 9, PJF announced Global Day of Action on January 26, the police claimed.

A Zoom meeting was held on January 11 between all collaborators, including PJF founder Mo Dhaliwal, its co-founder Anita Lal along with Nikita, Shantanu and others, the police claimed.

PJF and other organisations added several hyperlinks to the toolkit document. One of these is genocidewatch.com, they claimed.

Nikita, Shantanu, Disha and others collaborated with others to finalise the toolkit content between January 11-12. On January 18, AskIndiaWhy.com site was launched by PJF, the police said.

On January 20, the draft toolkit Google doc was shared between Nikita, Shantanu and Disha for final vetting. Shantanu was in the national capital from January 21 to 27 at a farmer protest site, the police said.

The police claimed that despite violent activity by farmers on Republic Day, the collaborators failed to achieve 'desired' impact due to police's restrain.

On February 3 morning, Disha shared the toolkit with Greta who accidently shared it on Twitter by evening, the police said. By the same night, Disha took admin rights and removed her name from the toolkit, the police said.

Later, she shared the edited toolkit with Greta for sharing it. On February 4, Disha allegedly deleted her WhatsApp group and other data, they added. PTI AMP/NIT DC SP ZMN