The arrest of Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old climate activist from Bengaluru, sparked widespread protest on Sunday, with country’s senior opposition leaders, activists, academics and writers among those condemning the Delhi police action.
Former home minister and senior Congress politician P Chidambaram, condemned her arrest and urged all students and youth to raise their voices to “protest against the authoritarian regime.”
“The Indian state must be standing on very shaky foundations if Disha Ravi, a 22 year old student of Mount Carmel college and a climate activist, has become a threat to the nation,” Chidambaram said.
He went on to say: “A ‘took kit’ to support the farmers’ protest is more dangerous than the intrusion by Chinese troops into Indian territory!”
According to Chidambaram, India is becoming the theatre of the absurd and it is sad that the Delhi Police has become a tool of the oppressors.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) top leader Sitaram Yechury accused that the Modi regime thinks by arresting a grand daughter of farmers, under sedition, it can weaken the farmers’ struggles
“In fact, it will awaken the youth of the country and strengthen the struggles for democracy,” Yechury added.
“The question is when will those people be arrested who continue to issue a literal ‘toolkit’ to break the national and social unity of India morning and evening, giving rise to hatred and division among the masses,” Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav posted in Hindi.
Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said that some serious charges applied against a 21 year old for sharing a ‘dangerous’ toolkit.
“As per BJP our nation is so weak that a written document about farmer agitation shared by an international celebrity will lead to its ‘breakup’,” she said.
“The nation is much stronger than this toolkit, BJP.”
Delhi Police cyber cell, on Saturday, arrested Disha Ravi from Bengaluru over a Google document shared on farmers’ protests by international climate activist Greta Thunberg. Ravi was brought to Delhi where she was formally arrested and has been sent to police custody for five days.
Delhi police have alleged that she “edited” the Google document which was shared as a “toolkit” for the protests.
The Public Prosecutor told the court that Ravi was part of a larger conspiracy against the Indian government, with links to Khalistani separatists. She denied being part of any conspiracy, and that she doesn’t know any such group.
“I was just supporting farmers.I supported farmers because they are our future and we all need to eat,” she told the court.
Disha Ravi is one of the founders of ‘Fridays for Future’ campaign and have close links with Greta Thunberg.
After a Twitter row over farmers protest between international influencers and India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Delhi police registered an FIR under Section 124A (sedition), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) against the people who created and spread ‘toolkit’.
On February 3, climate activist Greta Thunberg shared a tweet sharing a ‘toolkit’ on how to support the ongoing farmers’ protest in India. The tweet was soon deleted and that evening Greta shared a updated toolkit.
Disha Ravi, who graduated from Mount Carmel college in Bengaluru, is currently working as a culinary experience manager with a company that produces plant-based food.