This Article is From Feb 17, 2021

Over 900 Alumni Of Bengaluru College Sign Support Letter For Disha Ravi

Disha Ravi's supporters have denied she did anything illegal and said the toolkit was an information pack about the farmers' protests.

Over 900 Alumni Of Bengaluru College Sign Support Letter For Disha Ravi

Disha Ravi was arrested last Saturday from Bengaluru (File)

Bengaluru:

The support for 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi - arrested last week in the 'toolkit' case - is growing in her alma mater, Bengaluru's Mount Carmel College. A letter of solidarity that also condemns her arrest now has 900 signatories, up from 300 yesterday.

On Wednesday, NDTV met with two women - Dr Swati Shivanand and Aishwarya Ravi Kumar - who had initiated the letter to drum up support for the activist.

"We want to be brave and do the good thing but there's a potent fear going around. We hope alumni speak up or say something. Truth is, there is a fear of associating yourself with anything that is controversial," Ms Kumar, a freelance writer by profession and a signatory to the letter, told NDTV.

Dr Swati Shivanand, researcher at a law firm and an alumnus of the prestigious college, said: "Within 24 hours, we received 900 signatures (up from 300 yesterday) on the letter -- from ex-students, graduates of Mount Carmel College. (The signatures were) from students as far back as from batches that had passed out in the 80s and 90s."

Talking about how it all started, she said: "When we heard about Disha's arrest, we were shocked at the manner in which she was arrested. Aishwarya and I, both decided as alumni that maybe there are others who feel the same way. So, we wrote a letter and circulated it amongst our friends, who are also MCC alumni. In 4 just hours, we received 330 signatures".

Ms Ravi - accused of trying to cause disaffection against the State by creating the toolkit document in collaboration with activists Nikita Jacob, Shantanu Muluk, and banned pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation - was arrested on Saturday from Bengaluru on sedition charges. She was produced before a Delhi court on Sunday, where she said she had made just two edits to the document.

Her supporters have denied she did anything illegal and said the toolkit was an information pack about the farmers' protests.

"We, the alumni of Mount Carmel College, condemn the arrest of our fellow alum Disha Ravi by the Delhi Police. The blatant targeting of a young woman citizen expressing her support with the nation's protesting farmers is horrifying and completely unacceptable," the letter reads.

Ms Ravi's arrest and five-day police remand had triggered protests in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai.

The opposition - including the Congress and AAP - had also slammed the government.