Merely created Toolkit, others edited: Shantanu to court

2/24/2021

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Shantanu Muluk, who is an accused in the 'Toolkit' conspiracy case related to the farmers' protest, has asserted that he merely created the document with information on the agitation, which was then edited by others without his knowledge.

Muluk, along with climate activist Disha Ravi and Nikita Jacob are facing charges of conspiracy and sedition in the case related to the farmers' protest. The police said that the 'Toolkit' was a sinister design to defame India and cause violence.

"He merely created a document containing information about the protest and it was then edited by others without the knowledge or involvement," the bail petition filed by him on Tuesday stated, adding that he did not access the document after January 20.

Muluk asserted that he helped collate information about the site of farmers' protests and formulate it in the form of a map for easy reference. "The toolkit clearly shows that there is absolutely no connection with their social media support for the farmers protests, and with any violence whatsoever."

There is absolutely nothing in the "Toolkit' that advises doing anything unlawful, he said, adding that all it talks about is social media and offline peaceful protests and contacting elected representatives.

He further emphasized that there was nothing objectionable about the content included by him in the document and had no control over the document as others were also permitted to edit the same.

He said that he has never had any contact with any person outside India in relation to the Toolkit, while clarifying the allegation put forth by the police on his links with the Canada-based Khalistani organisations 'Poetic Justice Foundation' and Sikhs for Justice.

"That there may be differing views on 'internationalising' a protest, but the same is certainly not illegal. Applicant as a climate activist perforce campaigns with activists internationally. Simply talking to persons from outside India cannot be criminalised," the petition said.

He further claimed to not know about the co-founder of Poetic Justice Foundation MO Dhaliwal and stated in the bail plea that nothing objectionable was said in the zoom call on January 11, of which they both were part of.

"There were some 70 odd persons on the call of whom the applicant did not know anybody apart from his colleague Nikita Jacob. Some people spoke there but nobody said anything that was divisive on the Zoom Call so the applicant had no reason to suspect anyone or anything," Muluk emphasized.

Fearing arrest, Muluk moved the Patiala House Court in Delhi seeking anticipatory bail on Tuesday, days before the end of ten-day transit remand granted to him by the Bombay High Court on February 16. The court will hear the arguments on this bail plea on Thursday.

Muluk and Jacob had joined the investigation at Delhi Police's Cyber Cell office in Dwarka on February 22, and were later confronted with Disha Ravi.

Source: IANS

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