Academics, activists condemn Disha Ravi's arrest, say govt distracting from real issues

Disha Ravi, 22-year-old Bengaluru climate activist, was sent to 5 days police custody by a Delhi court on Sunday
Bengaluru climate activist Disha Ravi posing with her dog
Bengaluru climate activist Disha Ravi posing with her dog
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The arrest of Disha Ravi, the 22-year-old climate activist from Bengaluru, by Delhi Police on Saturday night has triggered outrage among academics and activists across the country who have called for her immediate release. In a joint statement, more than 50 academics, artists and activists have voiced support for Disha and called the arrest “disturbing,” “illegal in nature" and an "over-reaction of the State.” The statement says that instead of arresting her, the Union government should be proud of her. They said this act by the Delhi Police is also an attempt to "delegitimize the ongoing farmers' protest" which have been going on for more than two months against the three contentious farm laws.

Disha was picked up from her Bengaluru residence on Saturday afternoon by a team of police officers and taken to Delhi, where she was subsequently arrested that night. According to the police, she has been arrested for allegedly editing a Google document shared on farmers’ protests by international climate activist Greta Thunberg. She was sent to five days' police custody on Sunday afternoon by a Delhi court.

Toolkits are inventories, usually in the form of Google Docs, that are shared online used to educate and promote online campaigns containing basic information on any issue, tweet suggestions and information on what hashtags to use and whom to tag on social media. These are regularly used for streamlining protests and are also used by social media teams of political parties to plan a social media campaign. While the Delhi police have alleged a larger conspiracy behind the toolkit Greta had tweeted, Disha has denied these claims in court and said she had just voiced her support for the farmers.

The statement issued on Sunday terms Disha's arrest as "extra-judicial abduction" and calls for her immediate release. The statement has been carried in full (see below) and along with the endorsees.

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