Pandora’s Box: The Toolkit Case

By Surajit Bhaduri|Updated : February 23rd, 2021

After the toolkit was made public by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, the Delhi Police questioned Google and other social media companies to share evidence related to the toolkits such as email IDs, URLs, and social media accounts of the makers of the toolkit.

Introduction

  • On 4 February 2021, a Swedish climate activist named Greta Thunberg tweeted a toolkit associated with the current farmers' protest in the suburbs of the National Capital instead of the three contentious Farm Laws 2020.

  • Subsequently, an environmentalist, a lawyer, and engineer Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob, and Shantanu Muluk got into trouble.

What is meant by a toolkit?

  • At the moment, people have initiated expressing their thoughts and views on social media. Activists, too, now work in partnership employing a 'toolkit' to describe the protest and how people can back it. 

  • The toolkit is a document crucial to digital-era protests and is comparable to brochures and leaflets used by the campaigners on the streets. In plain words, it is a manuscript that trains and strengthens the reason for the protest.

  • It also delivers a roadmap on how to take the rally up, underlining what needs to be done, when, and how.

Greta Thunberg shared the toolkit:

  • On 4 February 2021, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg stretched her encouragement to the ongoing farmers' protest in India and shared a toolkit via her official Twitter handle.

  • Nevertheless, soon after tweeting the toolkit, she deleted it and shared a revised edition of the document.

What is mentioned in the toolkit?

  • The toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg directs people on how to stand up in camaraderie with the ongoing farmers' protest in India.

  • Nevertheless, the initial toolkit called for a digital strike before 26 January 2021 (Republic Day). It underscored 'carrying out protests outside Indian embassies' as one of the measures to endorse the cause. It also underlined a list of previous accomplishments that were taken to augment the farmers' voices electronically.

  • The document also cited numerous hashtags for Twitter Storm, namely #AskIndiaWhy, #FarmersProtest, and #TheWorldIsWatching.

Information associated with the toolkit:

  • After the toolkit was made public by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, the Delhi Police questioned Google and other social media companies to share evidence related to the toolkits such as email IDs, URLs, and social media accounts of the makers of the toolkit.

Tractor March Violence:

  • As per Delhi Police, the Swedish climate activist's toolkit played a considerable role in turning the '26 January 2021 tractor parade' violent, leaving a few hundred police personnel wounded.

  • Additionally, the toolkit was not produced by a handful of activists in India but in cooperation with pro-Khalistani organizations, as cited by the Delhi Police.

 The response of the Indian Government:

  • Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) tapped up support from the celebrities connected with the Sports and Bollywood industry with the hashtags "#IndiaTogether" and "#IndiaAgainstPropaganda."

  • On 4 February 2021, Delhi Police filed an FIR against unidentified people to create and spread the toolkit and probe 'international conspiracy' to defame India.

 The arrest of Disha Ravi:

  • On 14 February 2021, Delhi Police arrested activist Disha Ravi for designing and editing the toolkit, which apparently initiated the violence during the 26 January 2021 tractor parade.

  • As per the Delhi Police, Disha Ravi shared the toolkit with Great Thunberg.   Delhi Police suspected that Disha Ravi, along with lawyer Nikita Jacob and engineer Shantanu Muluk designed a toolkit and shared it with others to taint India's image.

  • The accused people have been booked under IPC Section 124 (A) for sedition, Section 153 (A) for promoting enmity between different sections of the society, and Section 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy.  Several opposition leaders criticized Delhi Police for the 'illegal' custody of environmentalist Disha Ravi in the toolkit case.

  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, tweeted against Disha Ravi's arrest by the Delhi Police.

 Timeline of the Case:

  • On 18 February 2021, Delhi High Court issued notice to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), News 18, and Times Now, after a petition filed by Disha Ravi alongside the FIR leak filed in the toolkit case (Disha A Ravi v. State & Ors).

  • Disha Ravi, in her petition, stated that she is viscerally attacked by Delhi Police and numerous media houses based on leaked investigative matter and prejudicial press briefings. It is to be observed that Disha Ravi's police custody ends on 19 February 2021. 

  • On 16 February 2021, Shantanu Muluk, a suspect connected with the toolkit, was approved pre-arrest bail for ten days by the Aurangabad bench of the High Court. 

  • On 17 February 2021, the Bombay High Court granted pre-arrest bail to lawyer Nikita Jacob, an additional suspect in association with the toolkit.

  • On 23 February 2021, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana said in his bail order, "Considering the scanty and sketchy evidence on record, I do not find any palpable reason to breach the rule of bail for a 22-year-old girl who has absolutely no criminal antecedent."  

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Surajit BhaduriSurajit BhaduriMember since Aug 2019
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Sachin Mishra
Very useful sir
Thanx for ur post nd plz keep updating in the same way.
Caalli Illaac
स्च्ल्मालीक्कं

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