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‘Toolkit’ accused Disha Ravi’s police custody extends for 24 hours

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Delhi court on Monday extended climate activist Disha Ravi’s police remand for one more day after the police sought her custody for five days to confront her with co-accused in the toolkit case, as per reports.

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Chief metropolitan magistrate Pankaj Sharma observed, “Through collective confrontation, the role played by each of them in deletion of the original toolkit document would come to light, which is very necessary for fair investigation.”

Disha Ravi, who was taken into 5-days custody by Delhi Police on February 13 from Bengaluru in connection with the ‘toolkit’ case as part of the police probe into violence on January 26 in the national capital during tractor rally called by farmers protesting against Center’s three new farm laws. After the end of the police custody, on February 19, she was sent to three-day judicial custody which expired on Monday but the court has once again extended her remand period for another one day.

Giving its verdict in the case, the court said the ‘toolkit’ case involves allegations of a “vituperous campaign” to spread hatred and disaffection to disrupt peace and tranquillity to undermine India’s sovereignty, integrity and security, so the probing authority must be provided fair time and chance within the ambit of law to reach out to truth through custodial interrogation and confrontation.

“At the same time, a balance has to be struck with the individual’s right and considering the same, police custody remand of the accused is deemed necessary for a shorter period than required by police as only confrontation of accused with other co-accused is sought and accordingly, accused is remanded to one-day police custody,” it said.

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Meanwhile, Disha Ravi’s advocate Sidhart Aggarwal, said the only question was if the investigation’s needs be met without putting her in police custody.

“They have the right to interrogate, confront. They will come on their time and go back on their time. Why should I be in police custody on the same questions. The demand of remand for five days is made to overreach the court deciding Ravi’s bail on Tuesday,” her council argued. However, when the prosecutor objected to Aggarwal’s submission, he said, “There’s a possibility that I may be wrong. The fact that there’s a bail order for Tuesday should’ve been informed to court.”

Police had sought the 22-year-old Ravi’s custody on the ground that she had confronted co-accused Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk, who had been granted transit bail. In its report police alleged that the three accused have colluded with each other in creating the toolkit and its various tools. It also submitted that Disha during her investigation blamed others and the police had to ascertain each one of their roles.

“Further identification of other co-accused persons/conspirators and recovery of additional devices is to be made which is very likely and also to establish their links with proKhalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation,” the court noted.

On Monday, both other accused– Nikita and Shantanu reached the cyber cell office in Dwarka to join the probe, where they were confronted with Disha.

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