Climate activist Disha Ravi arrested in Bengaluru in Greta Thunberg ‘toolkit’ case

Twenty-two-year-old Disha Ravi is a part of ‘Fridays For Future’ campaign, which was inspired by Greta Thunberg’s protest for the environment.
International teen climate activist Greta Thunberg
International teen climate activist Greta Thunberg
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Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old climate activist from Bengaluru, was arrested by a team of Delhi police on Saturday in connection with a case filed against the ‘toolkit’ on farmers’ protests that was shared by international teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, TNIE reported. The police have accused Disha of “sharing” and "spreading" the ‘toolkit’ related to the farmer protests in Delhi. One source said that the Delhi police have also accused Disha of contributing written material for the toolkit. She was taken to New Delhi on a 6 pm flight on Saturday.

The Delhi police have arrested her under the FIR filed by the cyber-crime unit of the Delhi police on February 4 against the creators of the "toolkit" on farmers' protest under charges of sedition, criminal conspiracy and promoting hatred. This is the first arrest the Delhi police have made in the case. This toolkit, which is nothing but a document, was part of the online campaign to support farmers' protest. The police's contention is that this document was created to malign India.

Disha has been booked under Sections124A (sedition), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Disha Ravi, one of the members of ‘Fridays For Future’ campaign in India, was reportedly ‘picked up’ from her house located within Soladevanahalli police station limits in Bengaluru on Saturday. The Fridays For Future movement began in August 2018, after then 15-year-old Greta Thunberg and other young activists sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis, according to the website. The group comprises college students and young working professionals who are working towards highlighting the climate crisis and demanding leaders to find solutions. 

There has been a lot of debate around the online campaign document tweeted by Greta. Many have argued that toolkits, which comprise basic information of any issue, tweet suggestions and information on what hashtags to use and who to tag on social media, are a regular inventory while organising protests online. This particular toolkit had a synopisis on what the farmers protests are, hashtags to use, people to tag and handles to follow for news. 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. 

In an interview to Citizens Matters, Disha highlighted the inspiration behind starting the campaign against climate change. “The science on climate change is constantly changing and upgrading. Our new demands are more ambitious than the details listed out by the Paris Agreement, and they need to be too,” she said. 

Watch: Disha talk about the movement in India

On February 3, Greta Thunberg had shared a tweet sharing a ‘toolkit’ or online campaign document on how to support the farmers’ protest. Although she deleted the tweet soon, since the dates mentioned in the document mentioned tweeting in January, that evening, Greta posted a new tweet sharing another ‘toolkit’ with updated details. The Delhi police registered an FIR the following day under sections 124A, 120A and 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

Greta Thunberg had tweeted in support of the farmers who are protesting near Delhi to repeal the three controversial farm laws. 

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