Bhubaneswar- Three activists, namely Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk were in touch with Poetic Justice Foundation which had links with Khalistan. They planned a social media buzz on the tractor rally and held a zoom meeting before the Republic Day. Disha Ravi was arrested by the cops in the Toolkit case and the other two activists are wanted. Disha Ravi was arrested on charges of sedition and conspiracy – was produced in a Delhi court on 14th February without any lawyer representing her. She has been sent to police custody for five days. With many commenting on the fact that she had to represent herself, the police said the activist was provided legal aid and if she argued her own case in court, it had nothing to do with the police.
Senior lawyer Rebecca John tweeted alleging "shocking abdication of judicial duties" on part of the magistrate at Delhi's Patiala House court. "Deeply disappointed by the conduct of the duty magistrate...who remanded a young woman to five days in police custody, without first ensuring that she was being represented by counsel. Magistrates must take their duties of remand seriously and ensure that the mandate of Article 22 of the constitution is scrupulously followed," she said. If the accused was not being represented by counsel at the time of the hearing, the magistrate should have waited till her counsel arrived or, in the alternate, provided her with legal aid, Ms John wrote.
Criticised heavily by celebrities and opposition parties over Disha Ravi's arrest, the police met the media this afternoon regarding the case, filed after the Toolkit was shared by Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and helped draw global attention to the farmers' protest.
Bagmi Barenya Nayak,
Research intern at The Stambh Organization