- The twenty-one-year-old climate activist, Disha Ravi was arrested by the Delhi police after being accused for sedition and conspiracy.
- The activist was arrested from her home town, Bengaluru. She has been alleged as the key conspirator behind the toolkit on the incessant protest by the farmers against the three farm bills. It has also been alleged that Ravi is linked to groups that are pro-Khalistan.
- The arrest of Disha Ravi has led to anger among the civil society and has also triggered a war between the Bhartiya Janta Party and the opposition on the freedom of protest.
- Non-bailable warrants have also been issued by the Delhi Police against lawyer Nikita Jacob and engineer Shantanu Muluk with regards to the toolkit.
Ravi is also one of the founding members of a group named ‘Fridays For Future India’. Fridays for Future was founded by Greta three years ago and Disha is one of the co-founders of the India chapter.
Disha Ravi, the climate activist was arrested by the Delhi Police from Bengaluru on the grounds that she has shared the “toolkit' regarding the protests of the farmers with Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen activist.
The Delhi Police have asserted that the activist was an editor of the Google doc of the toolkit and main conspirator to formulate and disseminate the document. It has also been stated by the Police and Disha Ravi and others joined forces with the pro-Khalistan Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disloyalty against India.
The police have reported that two laptops and an iPhone were discovered along with various other incriminating documents during a search of Jacob’s house.
It has also been alleged that Jacob and Shantanu Muluk joined climate activist who was arrested to create a protest toolkit supporting the protests of farmers.
Both of them have moved the Bombay High Court to seek an anticipatory bill. The lawyer’s application has been filed in Mumbai, and Muluk has submitted his plea in the Aurangabad bench of the High Court.
Fifteen days before the Republic Day violence in Delhi, the three of them, Disha, Jacob, and Muluk attended a Zoom meeting organized by a pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Cyber) Prem Nath said that in the meeting it was decided that the toolkit titled “Global Farmer Strike' and "Global Day of Action, 26 January' will be created.
He has also stated that the email account created by the engineer, Shantanu is the “owner' of the Google document, and Mo Dhaliwal, PFJ founder had communicated with them through Punit, a Canada-based woman.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Cyber) also said that the three of them edited the toolkit and then Disha sent it to Greta via Telegram. It has also been stated that the activist deleted a Whatsapp group created by her to spread the toolkit.
He has also asserted that due procedure was followed when she was arrested.
WHAT IS A TOOLKIT?
To understand it in the simplest terms, a toolkit is a set of resources for front-line workers who engage in a task or a campaign. It is a utility program or an integrated collection of software utilities that contain complete databases related to the topic in computers.
To sustain a movement or campaign in times of social media influences a toolkit is a convenient tool. It is a document created to explain an issue as a guide to people who are associated with the campaign or can be persuaded to give motivation to the campaign.
It also provides a blueprint of how to take the agitation or the campaign forward explaining what needs to be done, when, and how.
REACTION OF PEOPLE
The people, especially the youngsters are enraged after the arrest of Disha. They believe that she was not given proper representation in the court.
Politicians, activists, academicians, and youngsters are demanding that she should be released immediately. Residents from Bengaluru have also written a memorandum to the city’s police Commissioner and have asked questions over the legality of the arrest. The State police have been asked to take an action against Delhi Police.
Her acquaintance, a musician has commented that Disha has been arrested because she was a soft target and that the police will use her as a perfect example to prevent people from raising their voices against the laws.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The right to protest is a fundamental right and is important to maintain the essence of a democratic country. If there is no dissent allowed, then the government becomes absolute and authoritative.
But, it is also important to know that there are certain reasonable restrictions to this right. The protest must not become violent or instigate people to rebel against the government. If this happens, then it will count as sedition.
In the aforementioned facts, the activist was arrested on the grounds that she had conspired with pro-Khalistani groups. If this is factually true, then the twenty-one-year-old shall be tried in the court but with proper representation.
It is also important to note that in situations like these, the arrest needs to be done with a lawful procedure to ensure that the basic human rights of a person are not violated.