“An unprecedented attack on democracy.”
By Natasha Sethi
Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old climate activist, was arrested in Bangalore, India, on Saturday, after she shared a document which was intended to help the Indian farmers and their ongoing protests against the new agricultural laws.
Delhi police say that Disha had “spread disaffection against the Indian State” by collaborating with objectors. Police also believe that she was an editor of a ‘toolkit’ document, which suggested ways to help the Indian farmers, and that she shared it with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, despite Disha claiming otherwise. “I did not make the toolkit. We wanted to support the farmers. I edited two lines on 3 February”, Disha said to the court. The document was then tweeted by Ms. Thunberg but was deleted straight after, as it initiated controversy in relation to the pro-Khalistan outfit, the Poetic Justice Foundation.
Now facing sedition and conspiracy charges, Disha was already a familiar face among local climate activists as she assisted in campaigning against plastic, and in cleaning up lakes and planting trees. Her friends and fellow activists had described her as a “law-abiding activist” who has “never transgressed the law.”
Disha’s arrest has resulted in more protests and online outrage from several celebrities, including Arvind Kejriwal, with many of them calling it an attack on free speech. The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, described the arrest as “an unprecedented attack on democracy” in a public statement, reiterating that “supporting our farmers is not a crime.”
The original tweet can be read here.
Picture taken from India Today.