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Farmers’ Protest: Advocate Nikita Jacob Granted 3 Weeks Transit Bail By Bombay High Court

Source: Nikita Jacob's Twitter handle

Nikita Jacob, the Mumbai-based activist and lawyer, was granted transit bail for three weeks by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday in the Greta Thunberg toolkit case registered by the Delhi Police Special Cell regarding the ongoing farmers’ protest, Bar and Bench reported.

Justice PD Naik issued the order following the order passed by the Aurangabad Bench of the High Court on Tuesday which granted transit bail to activist Shantanu Muluk, who is a co-accused for editing the toolkit.

Thunberg was one of the international icons among several other international icons to raise concerns and support the protesting Indian farmers, drawing global attention to the issue. She had attached a toolkit in her tweet thread on February 3 which she later deleted. On February 4, she posted an updated toolkit and wrote: “Here’s an updated toolkit by people on the ground in India if you want to help. (They removed their previous document as it was outdated.).”

A toolkit is a social media document or booklet which explains an issue or cause. It contains all the details, a set of guidelines, that are necessary for an individual to make their contribution to supporting a particular cause. In context to protests, a toolkit comes with a methodology of the protest including guidelines for social media protests and materials to contextualise the cause or issue.

Thunberg’s updated toolkit contains information on the ongoing farmers’ protest, the urgent and prior actions that can be taken to help and support them, such as suggestions about signing petitions, mailing government officials, trending hashtags #StandWithFarmers and #FarmersProtest or protesting in front of government offices and Indian embassies.

The Delhi Police on February 4 filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the creators of the toolkit that was shared by Thunberg and also mentioned that they have not named anyone in the FIR. It also mentioned that the toolkit was created by an organisation “calling itself the Poetic Justice Foundation, a Khalistani group”.

On February 11, the Delhi Police raided Mumbai-based advocate Jacob’s residence, following which she was issued a non-bailable warrant, The Indian Express reported.

In the plea filed by Jacob in the Bombay High Court, she had sought a transit four weeks anticipatory bail and protection from any forced action pertaining to the present application. The plea also stated that she has “no religious, political or financial intention to incite violence and riots”.

Jacob  alleged in her plea that some trolls and bots have been circulating her personal information, email-ids, phone numbers, social media handles and pictures on social media.

Jacob claimed that she had found out from a social media account named Legal Rights Observatory that the Delhi Police had filed a complaint to “pin the blame” for the violence of January 26 upon her.

Jacob has also raised concern that her arrest might be due to political vendetta and trial by media.

During the Wednesday hearing, the Bombay High Court granted her three weeks of transit bail, giving her three weeks of protection from arrest and “in the event of arrest furnish PR (personal recognisance) bond of Rs 25000”.

At the same time, Disha Ravi, a 21-year-old Bengaluru-based student-climate activist and co-founder of Fridays For Future, was arrested by the Cyber Prevention Awareness Detection of Delhi Police Special Cell on Sunday from Bengaluru for interrogation and remanded five-days police custody by the Patiala House court. On producing her in the cour, she broke down and said that she had edited two lines in the toolkit.

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