Greta Thunberg's controversial tweet on a "toolkit" for supporting the farmer protests was cited in a case filed on Thursday by the Delhi Police that includes charges of sedition, an overseas "conspiracy" and an attempt to "promote enmity between groups". The police said its case is against the creators of the toolkit and does not name Greta Thunberg.
The teen climate campaigner, unfazed, tweeted that she "still" stood with farmers and "no amount of threats" would change that.
Greta Thunberg's tweets in support of the protests near Delhi against farm laws are among many posts that have drawn international attention over the past two days to the farmers' agitation that began late-November. The Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police is investigating several tweets but the subject of the FIR refers to Greta Thunberg's tweet Thursday morning on a "toolkit" guiding people on how to support the farmers' protests.
The Delhi Police said "some elements" were trying to take advantage of the farmer protests and "one account" had posted a toolkit that was authored by a group called the "Poetic Justice Foundation" that was a "Khalistani organisation".
"Taking cognizance of the toolkit, the police has registered a case for spreading disaffection against the government of India (sedition) and disharmony between groups on religious, social and cultural grounds, and criminal conspiracy to give shape to this," said Praveer Ranjan, Special Commissioner of Police.
Mr Ranjan said the toolkit "exposes the conspiracy by an organized overseas network" to instigate the farmer protests.
Soon after the FIR was filed, Greta Thunberg doubled down on her views with a new tweet: "I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest. No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that. #FarmersProtest."
The 18-year-old's first tweet came on Tuesday night, soon after pop star Rihanna posted a one-line comment sharing a CNN story.
"We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India," Greta Thunberg wrote, sharing the same CNN story about the protests and the government restricting Internet near protest sites.
On Wednesday, she posted a "toolkit" that sought support for the farmers' Republic Day protests, which was last week. She deleted the tweet soon after. Thursday morning, she said she was sharing an updated "toolkit", which included seven ways to back the agitation. She also suggested organising protests near the closest Indian embassy on February 13 and 14.
The government, in an extraordinary and sharp response to the international tweets yesterday, warned against the "temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments" and said the protests were by "a very small section of farmers" in parts of India.
"Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible," the foreign ministry said in a statement using the hashtags IndiaTogether and IndiaAgainstPropaganda.
The hashtags became the theme of a major pushback from ministers, Bollywood stars and sportspersons who stressed in their posts that India's government was handling the farmer protests through talks and that India's sovereignty could not be compromised.