Followers of a juvenile climate activist arrested in India over a farmer’s protest toolkit. Later accompanied by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist, have called for her release.
Delhi police department confirmed Disha Ravi’s detention, in a post on Sunday that alleged her of being a “key conspirator in document’s dissemination & formulation.”
The document, unsigned and openly accessible on an encrypted sharing site, offers a list of ways followers can help the ongoing protests.
Millions of farmers have been protesting for months against new agricultural laws, which they say will jeopardize their livelihoods.
Temporary protest camps have sprung up around New Delhi, and employees have gone on a protest in many states. Violence had exploded on several occasion– particularly on January 26, when protestors and police clashed on the streets.
The toolkit directs people to call government representatives, participate in rallies, share unity hashtags on social media and sign petitions. It gained popularity following Thunberg’s tweet in which she shared a link to it on February 5, appreciating “people on the ground in India.”
The action seems to anger Indian authorities. The same day, Delhi police declared they had started a criminal investigation into the toolkit’s owners and would punish them with provoking, sedition or inciting a riot and criminal conspiracy.
The document “indicates and predates a copycat implementation of a conspiracy behind the January 26 violence,” the police department tweeted. “The call was to carry on a social, regional, economic and cultural war against India.”
The police charged Ravi with starting a WhatsApp group that participated in the document. “She operated closely with them to draft the document. She was the one who handed out the Toolkit Document to Greta Thunberg” according to police. Adding that Ravi had assisted “spread hate against the Indian State.”