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Farmers’ Protest: Climate Activist Disha Ravi Remanded to Police Custody for Alleged Involvement in Creating ‘Toolkit’

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Source: Disha Ravi's Twitter handle

Disha Ravi, a 21-year-old Bengaluru-based student-climate activist and co-founder of Fridays For Future (FFF),was remanded five-days police custody custody by the Patiala House court in the Greta Thunberg ‘toolkit’ case related to India’s ongoing farmers’ protest.

Ravi was arrested by the CyPAD (Cyber Prevention Awareness Detection) of Delhi Police Special Cell on Sunday from Bengaluru for interrogation regarding her involvement in the ‘toolkit’ case that was shared by the international environmental activist Thunberg a few days ago.

According to a report by the India Todaywhen Ravi was produced in the court she broke down and mentioned that she had edited two lines in the ‘toolkit’ document.

Hours after Ravi’s arrest, the Delhi Police issued a non-bailable warrant against Mumbai-based advocate Nikita Jacob accusing her of the same, Bar and Bench reported.

Thunberg was one of the international icons, along with pop star Rihanna, adult film actor Mia Khalifa, American lawyer-author and US Vice President Kamala Harris’ cousin Meena Harris, and several other international journalists, professors and authors, to raise concerns and support the protesting Indian farmers, drawing global attention to the issue.

Thunberg 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 (They removed their previous document as it was outdated.).”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 “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 4, the Delhi Police took to Twitter and wrote “Delhi Police has taken cognizance of a ‘Toolkit Document’ found on a social media platform that predates and indicates a copycat execution of a conspiracy behind the 26 Jan violence. The call was to wage economic, social, cultural and regional war against India.”

On Sunday, Ravi was arrested from her house in Soladevanahalli area of Bengaluru and later produced in the Patiala House Court by the Delhi Police with a claim of seven-days remand on the accusation of “conspiracy” against the Indian government, as well as editing and circulating the ‘toolkit’.

During the hearing, Ravi mentioned that she had edited only two lines and said, “I did it to support the farmers. I was influenced by the farmers’ movement.”

On Sunday, Delhi Police tweeted “Disha Ravi arrested by CyPAD Delhi Police, is an Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc & key conspirator in document’s formulation & dissemination. She started WhatsApp Group & collaborated to make the Toolkit doc. She worked closely with them to draft the Doc.

The Delhi Police once again accused the creators of the ‘toolkit’ including Ravi of “collaborating with pro Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State” in the Twitter thread. 

“Later, she asked Greta to remove the main Doc after its incriminating details accidentally got into public domain. This is many times more than the 2 lines editing that she claims. @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @LtGovDelhi @CPDelhi,” read the Twitter thread of Delhi Police. 

FFF that Ravi founded is a global people’s movement for climate justice that claims to be “inclusive and egalitarian, non-partisan, autonomous and decentralised movement.” The organisation is also involved in a global climate strike campaign that began in August 2018 when Thunberg began a school strike for climate.

The farmers of India have been protesting peacefully in the capital for nearly two months now against the three Farm Bills passed by the Supreme Court during its monsoon session 2020. The protesting farmers had decided on a tractor rally on January 26 across a specific route sanctioned by the police, during which violence broke out across the capital leading to the death of one protesting farmer and a huge crowd taking over the Red Fort.

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