In light of the recent ‘Farmer’s protest toolkit controversy’, a 22-year-old environmental activist from Bengaluru, Disha Ravi has been arrested by the Delhi police on Sunday 14th February 2021. She is now under five-day police custody as the Delhi Magistrate decided to remand her following the arrest. She has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 124(a) for sedition, 153(a) for promoting enmity between different sections of the society and 120(b) for criminal conspiracy. She is accused of involvement in the composition of the “toolkit”, an online document shared by the International environmental activist Greta Thunberg, which consists of action plans to protest against the farm bill. Police claimed that the toolkit had the violence on 26th January as one of its “action plans” to protest against the farm bill, in addition to the pro-Khalistani elements.
Since last October, thousands of farmers have been camping on the national capital borders, protesting against the three newly passed farm laws introduced by the NDA government. On the republic day, the tractor rally conducted by the protesting farmers has resulted in great commotion as the farmers attempted to enter the national capital region, storming the Red Fort complex and clashing with the police and security forces. The police allege that plans for such actions were formulated in the online document, described as a “toolkit” that Ravi created and shared with Thunberg. “The main aim of the toolkit was to create misinformation and disaffection against the lawfully enacted government,” said a police official. “The toolkit sought to artificially amplify the fake news through various tweets which they have created in the form of a tweet bank. The document that they drafted had secessionist and pro-Khalistani content embedded into it through links and texts” he added.
The arrest of Disha has instigated furious criticism against the fascist actions of the government regarding the farmers protest. The efforts made by the government to silence and oppress the voice of the farmers and the people supporting them is more of a provocative manner than a call for peace.