An Indian activist has been arrested for allegedly making an anti-government protest toolkit that Greta Thunberg accidentally shared
An Indian activist has been arrested for allegedly making an anti-government protest toolkit that Greta Thunberg accidentally shared online.
Disha Ravi, 22, could face up to life in prison following her arrest Sunday in connection to the online document, which calls for organized support for India’s deadly farmers’ protests.
Ravi, a leader of the Indian arm of Thunberg’s Fridays for Future protest movement, is being investigated for possible sedition — a charge that carries a penalty of life imprisonment, a police source told Reuters.
Her arrest followed condemnation by India’s government over “vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda” — after Thunberg, Rihanna and Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece Meena Harris were among those suddenly tweeting their support to the farmers.
The planning then came to light when 18-year-old Swedish eco-activist Thunberg accidentally tweeted the toolkit link to her 4.9 million followers.
It spelled out “suggested posts” about the ongoing protests, whom to tag, and also demonstrations at Indian embassies that needed highlighting.
Ravi was “the one who shared the Toolkit doc with Greta Thunberg,” Delhi police insisted on Twitter on Sunday, saying she also started the WhatsApp group that first created the document that she drafted and edited.
“Later, she asked Greta to remove the main doc after its incriminating details accidentally got into public domain,” the force said.
Thunberg later deleted her tweet but not before screenshots were taken and it was widely shared online.
A lawyer for Ravi, from the southern city of Bengaluru, was not immediately available for comment.
She was ordered held in custody for at least five days.
Ravi’s detention sparked outrage on social media and among politicians and farm unions.
“Disha Ravi’s arrest is the latest escalation in India’s crackdown on free expression and political dissent, as it seeks to stifle the farmers’ mass protests,” said Shashi Tharoor, an MP from the main opposition Congress party.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been hunkering down at the Indian capital’s fringes to protest new agricultural laws they say will leave them poorer and at the mercy of corporations.
In their most violent clash on Jan. 26 — India’s Republic Day — hundreds of police officers were injured and a protester died. Scores of farmers were also injured but officials have not provided more details.
After her online mishap sparked outrage, Thunberg tweeted, “I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest. No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that.”
Police are planning more arrests — including of a Bombay High Court lawyer who is deemed as “absconding,” according to The Print.
With Post wires