The Delhi Police arrested Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old climate change activist from Bengaluru, on February 13 in association with the toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old international climate change activist from Sweden. The toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg contained information on how one can support the farmers’ protest on the borders of Delhi against the three farm laws passed by the Central government. Apart from Greta Thunberg, the toolkit has been widely shared on social media by several prominent environmental activists.
The Delhi Police arrested Disha Ravi, accusing her of playing a crucial role in preparing this toolkit and filed a first information report (FIR) on February 4. She was charged with draconian acts under the Indian Penal Code such as sedition and criminal conspiracy. After arresting Disha Ravi from her home in north Bengaluru, she was taken to Delhi, where a magistrate remanded her to five days’ police custody.
In a statement on Twitter, Delhi Police said: “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 tweet added, “In this process, they all collaborated with pro Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State. She was the one who shared the Toolkit Doc with Greta Thunberg.”
Disha Ravi had recently completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the prestigious Mount Carmel College in the city. She was popular in the city among environmental activists as she has been organising “Fridays for Future”, which is part of a global people’s movement for climate justice.
The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India, called upon the Central government to release Disha Ravi immediately. It stated: “Young environmental activists, that the country should be proud of, are the latest victims of the Centre’s continuing efforts to delegitimise the ongoing farmers protest and the nationwide solidarity it has generated. Disha has reportedly been picked up for sharing an advocacy toolkit inviting solidarity with the farmers’ protests outside Delhi, which was shared by noted teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg. Delhi Police’s actions are all the more sinister because the 21-year old was taken to Delhi from Bengaluru with no disclosure about her whereabouts, not even to her parents, an action that can be termed extra-judicial abduction.”