A day after Delhi Police issued arrest warrants against activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk in the case involving an online document, or a "toolkit", shared by teen climate campaigner Greta Thunberg in support of the farmer protests, the Bombay High Court will today hear Ms Jacob's request for protection from arrest for four weeks. All three prepared the Google document and shared it, Delhi Police said.
Arrested activist Disha Ravi, 22, and the two others held a Zoom meeting before Republic Day to plan a social media buzz on the farmers' tractor rally, the police said on Monday.
In her request for protection from arrest, Nikita Jacob, 30, has asked for a copy of the FIR (First Information Report) and has alleged that Delhi Police came to her Mumbai home last Thursday with a search warrant and seized gadgets and documents. Mr Muluk too has approached the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court with a request for protection from arrest. Both of them face charges that are not bailable.
Delhi Police said that Ms Jacob and Mr Muluk were not found at their homes in Mumbai and Maharashtra's Beed respectively. They said a Canada-based woman, identified as Puneet, had put Ms Jacob, Ms Ravi and Mr Muluk in touch with Poetic Justice Foundation, an organisation with Khalistani links. They had a Zoom meeting on January 11, the cops said.
In a document submitted to Mumbai Police, Ms Jacob, through her lawyer, said she had Mr Muluk had participated in a Zoom call on January 11. "Our only Zoom call with AskIndiaWhy campaigners (Poetic Justice Foundation) at 2:30 am IST who shared/presented the resources they were working on to support the farmers for feedback."
Delhi Police, meanwhile, has written to video conferencing platform Zoom seeking details of those who participated in the January 11.
The arrest warrants against have emerged at a time outrage is spiraling over the arrest of Ms Ravi, a Bengaluru college graduate and climate activist, on conspiracy and sedition charges. She was arrested from her home in Bengaluru and produced in a Delhi court on Sunday without her lawyers but with legal aide provided by the court.
"I did not make the Toolkit. We wanted to support the farmers. I edited two lines on February 3," Ms Ravi told the court. The court sent her to police custody for five days.