Delhi Police detains 21-year-old climate activist in Greta Thunberg ‘toolkit’ case

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A 21-year-old climate activist was arrested by Delhi Police Cyber Cell on Saturday from Bengaluru for her alleged role in spreading the “toolkit” tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

A lawyer, who was familiar with the developments and did not wish to be identified, told that  Disha Ravi was “picked up” from her house, which falls under the Soladevanahalli police station limits in the Karnataka capital, on Saturday afternoon at around 3 pm.

“The family does not know whether she has been arrested in the case or has been picked up for questioning or what is the nature of the police action,” the lawyer was quoted as saying the online news portal. “We are hoping that she will be produced before a magistrate today.”

An unidentified senior police officer told The Hindu that Ravi was formally arrested in Delhi and will be produced before a magistrate. The police is yet to confirm her arrest.

“We have found that she made several changes in the toolkit related to farmers protest and further spread it in certain groups on social media,” the officer told the newspaper. He added that the police have seized her laptop and mobile phone for further investigation.

Ravi is one of the founders of the “Fridays For Future” campaign – a global climate movement that started in August 2018, calling on politicians to listen to scientists and take urgent action against global warming.

On February 4, Thunberg had tweeted a link to the “toolkit” expressing her support for the farmers’ protests, saying: “Here’s an updated toolkit by people on the ground in India if you want to help. (They removed their previous document as it was outdated.)”.

Following this, the Delhi Police lodged a First Information Report against its creators, after pro-government social media handles expressed outrage claiming that the “toolkit” was evidence of a global conspiracy to attack India. The FIR included sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting hatred amongst various communities on social/cultural/religious grounds) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

A toolkit, according to a social media campaigner, “is a booklet or document created to explain a cause or issue” that helps identify “approaches to address the issue from the grassroots level”.

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