Toolkit case: Delhi Police seeks info from Zoom on Jan 11 meet; Funding, WhatsApp group under probe; DCW notice on Disha Ravi's arrest

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) Intensifying its probe in the toolkit case, the Delhi Police on Tuesday sought details from video conferencing platform Zoom on the participants of the January 11 meeting by a pro-Khalistan group, while investigators were also looking into the funding aspect, sources said.

The Delhi Commission for Women sent a notice to the city police on the arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi in the case and sought a report by Friday on issues like why she was allegedly not provided a lawyer of her choice when produced before a court.

However, Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava denied any lapse.

'Disha Ravi's arrest has been made in accordance with the law which doesn't differentiate between a 22-year-old or a 50-year-old,' he told reporters at an event while dismissing criticism of the police action against Ravi.

Sources said police are also likely to approach WhatsApp seeking details of the 'International Farmers' Strike' group created in December last year, they said.

According to police, Disha Ravi, along with Mumbai lawyer Nikita Jacob and Pune engineer Shantanu, created the 'toolkit' related to the farmers' agitation and shared it with others to 'tarnish' India's image.

The police on Monday claimed that 22-year-old Disha, who was arrested on Saturday from Bengaluru, sent the 'toolkit' to teen climate activist Greta Thunberg through the Telegram app and also 'coaxed her to act on it'.

Police alleged that Nikita Jacob and Shantanu were among the around 70 people who had attended the meeting organised by pro-Khalistan group Poetic Justice Foundation through the Zoom app, days before the Republic Day violence in the national capital that left more than 500 police personnel injured and one protester dead.

Police sources claimed that Shantanu was in the national capital between January 20 and 27, but did not elaborate.

'The Delhi Police has written to video conferencing app Zoom seeking details of participants who attended the meeting on January 11,' the official said.

'We are also trying to probe the funding module in the toolkit case,' a source said.

Officials said that police have so far not received a reply from Google on the document being investigated.

On Tuesday, the DCW asked the police to provide a copy of the FIR registered in the matter and reasons for allegedly not producing Ravi before a local court for transit remand.

It also asked the reasons for allegedly not providing a lawyer of her choice when she was produced before the court here, and a detailed action taken report, a statement said.

The commission has asked police to provide the information by Friday, it added.

On Monday, the Joint Commissioner of Police (Cyber), Prem Nath, had alleged that the e-mail account created by Shantanu is the owner of this Google document.

'Pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) founder Mo Dhaliwal had contacted them (Jacob and Shantanu) through a Canada-based woman named Punit,' Nath had said.

'Nikita and Shantanu had on January 11 attended a Zoom meeting organised by PFJ in which modalities were decided to create the 'toolkit' titled 'Global Farmer Strike' and 'Global Day of Action, 26 January',' Nath had said on Monday.

Thunberg had shared the 'toolkit' to lend her support to the farmers' agitation against the three agri reform laws. In the document, various urgent actions, including creating a Twitter storm and protesting outside Indian embassies, were listed to garner support for the farmers' protest.

The 'toolkit' has been cited by some critics as 'proof' of a conspiracy to fuel protests in India.

Earlier this month, the Cyber Cell had lodged an FIR against 'pro-Khalistan' creators of the 'toolkit' for waging a 'social, cultural and economic war against the Government of India'.

The case was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy and sedition.

Police also said they are also probing the role of a man named Peter Friedrich in connection with the 'toolkit' case.

Police said Friedrich has been on the radar of the Indian security establishments since late 2006 when he was noticed in the company of Bhajan Singh Bhinder alias Iqbal Chaudhary.

'He (Bhinder) has been a very leading proponent of the K2 desk of ISI. Friedrich was associated with him,' police said.

'Why his (Peters') name is there on the document or why should he (Friedrich) be followed will be answered by Disha and her associates. Did they contact him Friedrich through Mo Dhaliwal or directly contacted him is a matter of investigation,' a senior police officer said.

Thousands of farmers protesting the Centre's new agri laws had clashed with the police during their tractor rally on January 26.

The rally had dissolved into unprecedented scenes of anarchy as protesters fought with police, overturned vehicles and delivered a national insult hoisting a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort, a privilege reserved for India's tricolour. PTI NIT BUN BUN RT RT