Amid the ongoing criticism over the arrest of 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi in the ‘Toolkit’ case, the Delhi Commission for Women took suo moto cognizance of media reports and issued notice to the Delhi Police.
As per reports, Disha was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi without even her parents knowing about her whereabouts and without a transit remand.
Therefore, the DCW asked the Delhi Police to provide an explanation as to why Disha was taken to Delhi without first presenting her to a local court for transit remand and why she wasn’t provided with an attorney of her choice before producing her in the Delhi Court.
Further, while observing it as a ‘serious matter’, the Commission head Swati Maliwal sought from Delhi police, a copy of FIR along with a detailed action taken report in the above matter. Both these have been sought before February 19 considering the “gravity of the matter”.
In a letter written to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Delhi Police Cyber Crime Cell, the DCW pointed out that the Delhi High Court, in a 2019 order, had stated: “Endeavor should be made to obtain transit remand after producing the arrestee before the nearest Magistrate unless exigencies of the situation warrant otherwise.”
“As per media reports, she was arrested by the Delhi Police from Bengaluru on 13.02.2021 allegedly for supporting farmer’s protest. It has been alleged in media by some activists that she was taken to Delhi from Bengaluru by the Delhi Police with no disclosure of her whereabouts, not even to her parents. It was also alleged that she was brought to Delhi from Bengaluru without presenting her before a local court for transit remand. It has been further alleged in media reports that Ms. Disha Ravi was produced before the court in Delhi without a lawyer of her choice being present in the court,” said the DCW letter.
The toolkit for the farmers’ protest was shared by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. These toolkits are mostly documents that contain a summary of an issue and suggestions about what hashtags to use to spread the cause and whom to tag on social media. These toolkits are regularly used by many including political parties to organize protests or plan a campaign. The police’s contention is that in this case, the document was made with an intention to malign India.
Earlier, in a statement given by the Delhi Police, it has contended that Disha was “one of the Editors of the Toolkit Google Doc and a key conspirator in the document’s formulation and dissemination.”