Follow Us:
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Toolkit case: Delhi court grants protection from arrest to Shantanu Muluk till March 9

The police were due to oppose Muluk’s bail on Thursday but told the court that they needed seven more days to file a detailed reply to his anticipatory bail application. 

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: February 25, 2021 10:29:51 pm
Shantanu Muluk, a climate activist, arrives at National Cyber Forensic Lab for an investigation, in New Delhi (Reuters)

The Delhi Police on Thursday told a court here that activist Shantanu Muluk, under investigation in connection with a toolkit on the farmers’ protest that was tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, gave contradictory and inconsistent replies, even as his lawyers said that Muluk only helped out at a library, distributed books and designed eco-friendly waste disposal at the farmers’ protest site in New Delhi. 

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana has directed the police to not take any coercive action against Muluk till the next date of hearing on March 9. The judge had on Tuesday granted bail to co-accused Disha Ravi observing that the police investigation was based on “scanty and sketchy evidence”. 

The police were due to oppose Muluk’s bail on Thursday but told the court that they needed seven more days to file a detailed reply to his anticipatory bail application. 

Muluk’s anticipatory bail application, filed by lawyers Sarim Naved and Akram Khan, stated that he was interrogated for 12 hours on February 22, and on the following day answered a 115-page questionnaire, many verbal questions and was later confronted with co-accused Disha Ravi. 

On police allegations that Muluk attended a Zoom call with 60-70 other people where Poetic Justice Foundation founders MO Dhaliwal and Anita Lal, alleged to be Khalistani sympathizers, were also present, his lawyers said that he did not know anyone apart from Extinction Rebellion colleague Nikita Jacob.

“The said Zoom call was merely an introductory call organized by Ask India Why and nothing objectionable whatsoever was said, mentioned or discussed during the call. He does not know anything about Poetic Justice Foundation as has been alleged. He does not know anything about one MO Dhaliwal, who is apparently a proponent of Khalistan, who was allegedly on the Zoom call. Some people spoke there but nobody said anything that was divisive… so the applicant has no reason to suspect anyone or anything,” the anticipatory bail application read. 

On the toolkit, the court was told that the document was accessed and edited by other people who had ‘edit’ access. “He merely created a document containing information about the protest and it was then edited by others without the knowledge or involvement of the applicant.” 

Shantanu’s lawyers informed the court that he travelled to Delhi on January 20 after which he did not access the document. He reached Tikri border on January 20 and “volunteered at the Bhagat Singh library, distributing books and blankets to the people there.” The court was told that the “register of the library bears his signature for multiple lending at the library”.  “He also helped the people there to design eco friendly waste disposal using things like cans and boxes which were otherwise being discarded. That is all he did,” the application read.

Shantanu’s lawyers told the court that he was “not a political person and had no political or religious goals apart from exhibiting sympathy for the farmers”.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.