New Delhi: A photograph of Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal with a bespectacled girl is going viral with the claim that she is Bombay High Court lawyer Nikita Jacob, who faces arrest for her alleged role in preparing a ‘toolkit’ detailing digital support for farmers’ protests.
The Delhi Police has arrested Bengaluru-based student activist Disha Ravi in connection with the ‘toolkit’ case and is looking for Jacob, claiming she was the key person who “created the toolkit”.
In a now deleted tweet, filmmaker Ashoke Pandit posted the viral selfie accusing Kejriwal of posing with an “innocent” girl trying to “spread chaos” in the country. His tweet had been shared almost a hundred times before it was deleted.
BJP spokesperson Ajay Sehrawat called the two “anti-national elements”.
— Ajay Sehrawat (@IamAjaySehrawat) February 16, 2021
Nikita Jacob, who is involved in conspiracy against the country, is absconding in the toolkit case, here Arvind Kejriwal and Vadra family has started barking in defense of traitors. Delhi people think seriously today otherwise this traitor will sell the country pic.twitter.com/zH5k72Nuan
— Vivek Choudhary (@viveknmiet) February 16, 2021
Raji Aiyer, a Twitter user with 12,100 followers, asked: “Isn’t she legal advisor of AAP! Why she was in contact with Khalistani terrorist constantly?”
Ask kejriwal who is Nikita Jacob. Isn't she legal advisor of AAP!
Why she was in contact with Khalistani terrorist constantly?
— RajiAiyer (@RajeAiyer) February 15, 2021
Sanatani Thakur, who describes herself as “Andh Bhakt of Narendra Damodar Das Modiji” in her Twitter bio, shared the photograph with over 4,000 followers and said: “Sir with Nikita Jacob – the main culprit of the toolkit saga. Her WhatsApp chat reveals that she had planned to tarnish India’s image at global stage. Justified Kejriwal crying for Disha (sic).” The tweet had been shared over 30 times before it was deleted.
Kejriwal criticised Disha Ravi’s arrest Monday calling it an “unprecedented attack on democracy“, to which some users responded by sharing the viral picture and alleged his involvement in the case.
— Joydeep Roy (@IjoydeepRoy) February 15, 2021
Twitter user ‘CA Ashutosh Soni’ did not post the same photograph, but made a similar claim: “Non-Bailable warrant issued for Nikita Jacob, AAP leader in connection with the #ToolkitCase after arrest of Disha Ravi. Once a senior activist told me that this Arvind Kejriwal is a naxali and works for them so his party too. Now the same is proved!”
Non-Bailable warrant issued for Nikita Jacob, AAP leader in connection with the #ToolkitCase after arrest of Disha Ravi
— CA Ashutosh Soni (@CA_AshutoshSoni) February 15, 2021
The girl in the photograph with CM Kejriwal is not Nikita Jacob but AAP supporter Ankita Shah. She first uploaded the image on Facebook on 3 March 2019, posting: “Finally met my favorite ever Arvind Kejriwal. Coolest CM ever…I am so blessed AAPian…Thank you AK”.
Aam Aadmi Party member Abhijeet Dipke called on Mumbai Police to take action against Pandit, who lives in Mumbai. “He [Pandit] is misusing my friend’s picture and spreading fake news. The girl in the picture is @Ankita_Shah8 and not Nikita Jacob,” tweeted Dipke Tuesday night.
— Abhijeet Dipke (@abhijeet_dipke) February 15, 2021
AAP member Preeti Sharma Menon also asked if Pandit can be charged for “misusing” a girl’s photo and “defamation”.
.@Ankita_Shah8 bitiya when did u change your name 😂😂
And you did all this araajakta business while delivering your little angel, what a super mom you are.
— Preeti Sharma Menon (@PreetiSMenon) February 15, 2021
Meanwhile, Supreme Court advocate Prashant Patel Umrao, who deleted his post that claimed the girl in the photo was Jacob, was called out on Twitter.
(In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer)