Days after her arrest, environment activist Disha Ravi on February 20 told a Delhi court that the "toolkit", cited by the police to accuse three people of sedition was merely a "resource document". Opposing the claim, the Delhi police said that the toolkit was a gateway to various websites that defame India, reported NDTV.
"Disha, the only person arrested so far in the case, is closely connected to the Khalistan-backing organisation Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF)," the police told the court. "Bail can be denied if the accused indulges in tampering of evidence," the police said.
The prosecution argued that Disha has been refusing to cooperate with the probe and preliminary findings show content have been deleted and destroyed from her devices.
The court of Justice Dharmendra Rana, however, asked how anyone could attribute wrong motives to a person who meets someone with bad credentials. The comment was made in reference to MO Dhaliwal, PR professional and founder of the Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), a Canada-based organisation that claims to be working to create awareness about the farmers' protest.
The police answered, "Everyone knows MO Dhaliwal. Why would you meet with such a person." Justice Rana responded: "No. I don't know who is MO Dhaliwal."
The police have accused Disha of maintaining contact with Dhaliwal, especially during the toolkit episode.
The judge also asked about the evidence that linked Disha to the January 26 violence. To which the police responded, "In a conspiracy, not everyone will have the same role. Somebody...influenced by the toolkit may be instigated and indulge in violence."
Disha Ravi was arrested on February 13 from Bengaluru in connection with the toolkit probe. The other two co-accused, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk, have been granted interim anticipatory bail by the Bombay High Court earlier this week.
During the hearing of Disha's plea today, the Delhi police referred to PJF as a "secessionist organisation".
"They wanted to take advantage of farmers protest. They wanted an Indian face. They got in touch with few people, including Disha Ravi. A mechanism was devised. The entire purpose of making this toolkit was a conspiracy between the accused," the police argued.
The prosecution said, Disha set up a WhatsApp group called "International Farmers Strike", on December 6 with alleged attempts to be in touch with PJF.
The police claimed that on January 11, a Zoom call was made between PJF founder MO Dhaliwal and Disha.
"Several such meetings followed," the police told the court, adding, "There was no need to share this toolkit with PJF. It has nothing to do with farmers protest. That too in a clandestine manner. It was a sinister plan."
The police also highlighted a hyperlink that was provided with the toolkit that allegedly led to a different website - CurrentGenocideWatch.com. "That website speaks about genocide, Kashmir...and defaming the Indian Army. This toolkit was cleverly designed to defame India and the Indian Army," the police told the court.
"We would need the custody of Disha post February 22 to confront her with the other accused. If she is given bail then the investigation will be frustrated," the police said.
Disha, last week, had told the police that she did not make the toolkit and wanted to support farmers. She said she edited two lines on February 3. Yesterday, the Delhi High Court warned the media against sensationalism in the case and directed the police to not leak investigation material to the media.