Disha Ravi is a graduate of Mount Carmel College, one of Bengaluru's top women's colleges.
After 22-year-old Disha Ravi's arrest, two more activists are wanted by the police in the case involving a "toolkit" shared by climate campaigner Greta Thunberg in support of the farmer protests. Warrants are out against activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu and they face charges that are not bailable. Nikita Jacob has approached the Bombay High Court for protection from arrest for four weeks. All three prepared the "toolkit" google document and shared it, Delhi Police said today, adding that investigations are focusing on a zoom call between the activists to plan for a campaign ahead of the Republic Day farmers' tractor rally.
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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.
Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu were present on a Zoom call with Poetic Justice and others allegedly to plan their campaign ahead of the tractor rally by farmers on January 26, the Delhi Police told reporters.
In her request for protection from arrest, Nikita Jacob has asked for a copy of the FIR and has alleged that the Delhi Police came to her Mumbai home last Thursday with a search warrant and seized gadgets and documents.
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 but with legal aide provided by the court.
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. The Delhi Police said besides preparing the ''toolkit'' google document, she sent it to Greta Thunberg through the Telegram app.
"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.
Several opposition parties and activists have condemned the arrest. "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.