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Know who is Disha Ravi; an activist arrested in connection with “Toolkit”

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Ever since, the Republic day violence broke-out in parts of Delhi, during protesting farmers’ tractor rally, both BJP-led central government and Delhi Police have been seen fortifying protesting sites and chasing everyone who is suspected of participating in any act that could in any way support the ongoing demonstration against government’s newly formed farm laws.

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Falling a pray to such a ‘jail bharo’ drive, a 21-year-old climate activist, from Bengaluru was recently arrested by the Cyber Cell team of Delhi Police for allegedly sharing with Greta Thunberg the ‘toolkit’ related to the farmer’s protest against the Centre’s three farm laws.

On February 13 evening, the activist was picked up from her house for questioning and later was arrested and produced in a court, where she was remanded in 5-days police custody. Ravi, as claimed by the police force, was an editor of the ‘toolkit Google doc’ and ‘key conspirator’ in the document’s formulation and dissemination.

According to a senior police officer Ravi’s arrest was the first in connection with ‘toolkit case’. The creator of the “toolkit”, as per the definition of Delhi Police is an organization that call itself the Poetic Justice Foundation but in reality is a ‘Khalistani’ group. The police also alleged that Ravi and others “collaborated with pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State.” However, activists use ‘Toolkit’ as a term for a campaign information document.

The Delhi Police also shared the information on Twitter, stating that Ravi was the one who shared the toolkit document with Greta Thunberg, a teen Swedish climate activist, who had shared the toolkit to lend her support to the farmers’ agitation against the three farm reform laws, which helped draw global attention to the protest. As per the Delhi Police, the toolkit was found on a social media handle ahead of the violence and indicates a conspiracy behind the events of January 26.

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Perusing her graduation in Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, Disha Ravi describes herself as co-founder of a group named ‘Fridays For Future India’, on her social media handles.

Being a young climate activist, Disha regularly writes columns and articles in leading news portals on climate action and is a familiar name in important climate forums across the globe.

In her last year interview with Auto Report Africa, she was seen speaking about how she found her passion for climate activism and said, “My motivation to join climate activism came from seeing my grandparents, who are farmers, struggle with the effects of the climate crisis.”

“At the time, I wasn’t aware that what they were experiencing was the climate crisis because climate education is non-existent where I’m from. Only when I did my research, did I find out about it,” she added.

Disha’s arrest comes after climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted a toolkit document which the police alleged had led to the January 26 violence in New Delhi. In her tweet the Swedish environmentalist had called for a protest on February 13 and 14 in connection with the ongoing Indian farmers’ protest, that is staged against the Centre’s newly formed farm laws at the borders of Delhi since November 26, however, this was focused on the Republic Day protests. Without naming Thunberg in the FIR, the Delhi Police went ahead to register the case against the authors of the toolkit.

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The Delhi Police also asked Google and some social media giants to provide information about email ids, URLs and certain social media accounts related to the creators of “toolkit”, which was uploaded through Google doc and were later shared on the micro blogging site, Twitter.

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