Disha Coaxed Greta To Act On Toolkit For ‘Storm’: Police

Delhi Police on Monday said that climate activist Disha Ravi had shared the ‘toolkit’ document related to the farmers’ protest to Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on the Telegram app and also coaxed her to act on it.

Addressing a press conference, Joint Commissioner of Police (Cyber Crime) Prem Nath said, “Disha who is associated with environmental movement call ‘Friday for Future’ sent the toolkit to Greta Thunberg on Telegram app and coaxed her to act on it.”

Giving details on the investigation on “Twitter storm” related to the farmers’ protest and January 26 tractor rally, Nath said: “On February 4 while monitoring social media we came across a Google document titled toolkit on Twitter. Initial investigation of this toolkit document reveal that it was created by pro-Khalistani group name Poetic Justice Foundation and people associated with it.”

JCP Nath added, “One portion of the toolkit document mentions action points then prior actions, as you are aware there was a digital strike through a hashtag on January 26 and earlier tweets storm on January 23 onwards and physical action on January 26 and entering Delhi for Kisan rally and return back to the border.”

The second part of the same document mentions tasks such as disruption of India’s cultural heritage and targeting Indian embassies abroad, he added.

The time-bound action points and the programme given in the toolkit when viewed in the context of actual developments in Delhi clearly showed the action plan that was formulated in the toolkit was implemented on the ground or executed in a copy-cat manner, the official added.

Keeping in mind all these facts a case was registered and an investigation was taken up by CyPAD (Cyber Prevention Awareness Detection), the cyber unit of Delhi Police, JCP Nath said.

During the investigation many screenshots of the toolkit were available on open source and were investigated, he said. When the probe was able to fetch enough information, a search warrant was obtained from Court on February 9, against Nikita Jacob, one of the editors of the toolkit Google document, he added.

“A team reached Mumbai and conducted searches at her (Nikita Jacob) residence on February 11. She and her associates Shantanu and Disha had created the document. The email account created by Shantanu is the owner of this document all others are its editors,” the police official said.

A woman named Puneet who is based in Canada connected these people to the Pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation and through them created a toolkit tilted global farmer strike and global day of action on January 26, the police official said.

“On January 11, Nikita and Shantanu attended a Zoom meeting organised by Poetic Justice Foundation in which modalities were chalked out, he said.

“Based on the information gathered, separate teams were sent to Maharashtra and Bengaluru, however, Shantanu was not found at his house and we are still searching for him,” he informed.

On the next morning when the investigation team reached Nikita’s residence, she was found absconding and had not yet joined the investigation. For a search for Nikita and Shantanu we have taken NVWs (Non-bailable warrants) from the court, said the official.

In Bengaluru, the team examined Disha and was able to extract highly incriminating information from her phone, this information made it clear along with her colleagues Shantanu and Nikita created and sent a toolkit document to others, the official added.

The main aim of the toolkit was to create misinformation, disaffection against the lawfully enacted government, Delhi police said. The toolkit sought to artificially amplify the fake news through various tweets which they have created in the form of a “tweet bank” and they also sought public to participate in the action on January 26, which is celebrated as Republic Day of India, the officer further said.

“Based on this incriminating evidences collected against Disha from her device and view of the fact that Nikita didn’t cooperate and she fled from her house we acted against Disha because she has deleted a WhatsApp group which she created to coordinate among the various members for the toolkit,” he said.

Disha was arrested in the presence of her mother and in presence of the SHO of the area concerned and the due process was adopted for conducting her medical test and producing her in the court, JCP Prem Nath said.

The court has granted five days of police custody for Disha, adding that the rest of the investigation is underway, he said. (ANI)

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