After Disha Ravi, Arrest Warrant For 2 More Activists: 10 Points
Disha Ravi is a graduate of Mount Carmel College, one of Bengaluru's top women's colleges.
Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
The police claim according to their investigations, the organisation behind the "toolkit" shared by Greta Thunberg - Poetic Justice - had contacted Nikita Jacob to organise a "tweet storm" ahead of the Republic Day protest by farmers. The organisation is a Khalistani group, the police say.
The new warrants have emerged at a time outrage is spiraling over the arrest of Disha Ravi, a Bengaluru college graduate and climate activist, on conspiracy and sedition charges. She was arrested from her home in Bengaluru and produced in a Delhi court yesterday without her lawyers.
She has been accused of playing a key role in editing the toolkit document and its circulation. Disha Ravi is reportedly a part of Greta Thunberg's Fridays for Future campaign.
"I did not make the Toolkit. We wanted to support the farmers. I edited two lines on February 3," Disha Ravi, a graduate of Mount Carmel college, told the court. The court sent her to police custody until the next hearing five days later.
In a post, senior lawyer Rebecca John has alleged "shocking abdication of judicial duties". According to her, the magistrate at Delhi's Patiala House court failed to ensure that Disha Ravi had legal representation in court.
"Deeply disappointed by the conduct of the duty magistrate...who remanded a young woman to five days in police custody, without first ensuring that she was being represented by counsel. Magistrates must take their duties of remand seriously and ensure that the mandate of Article 22 of the constitution is scrupulously followed," she said. If the accused was not being represented by counsel at the time of the hearing, the magistrate should have waited till her counsel arrived or, in the alternate, provided her with legal aid, Ms John wrote.
Several opposition parties and activists have condemned the arrest and the manner in which it was done. "Completely atrocious! This is unwarranted harassment and intimidation. I express my full solidarity with Disha Ravi," tweeted Congress's Jairam Ramesh.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting since November on highways outside Delhi against three central laws. On January 26 Republic Day, a tractor rally dissolved into chaos and clashes when the protesters broke through barricades and even stormed the Red Fort.
On February 3, Greta Thunberg had tweeted a "toolkit" to show support for the farmers' Republic Day protest. She later deleted the tweet, posting an updated one. The police say the "toolkit" was aimed at waging a cultural war against the government and creating divisions among various groups.
The government also hit out at "sensationalist social media hashtags and comments" by celebrities following posts from Greta Thunberg and pop singer Rihanna, who also tweeted in support of the farmer protests.