The Congress leaders are condemning the arrest of 21-year old climate activist Disha Ravi and have come out in her support. Former minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram in a series of tweets, on Sunday (Feb 14) expressed his shock and condemned her arrest. “India is becoming an absurd theater and it is sad that the Delhi Police has become the tool of the oppressors. I strongly condemn Disha Ravi’s arrest and urge all students and youth to raise their voice against autocratic rule,” he said in a tweet on Sunday (Feb 14).
भारत बेतुका रंगमंच बन रहा है और यह दुखद है कि दिल्ली पुलिस उत्पीड़कों का औजार बन गई है।
मैं दिशा रवि की गिरफ्तारी की कड़ी निंदा करता हूं और सभी छात्रों और युवाओं से आग्रह करता हूं कि वे निरंकुश शासन के खिलाफ आवाज उठाएं।
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) February 14, 2021
In another tweet, he took a jibe at Narendra Modi government on farmers’ protest and de-escalation of Indian and Chinese troops at LAC. “If Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old student of Mount Carmel College and a climate activist, poses a threat to the country, India stands on a very weak foundation. A tool kit brought to support farmers’ protest is more dangerous than Chinese troops infiltrating Indian territory!” he said.
Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor in a tweet also criticised the Centre, calling her arrest as ‘India’s crackdown on free expression and political dissent’. “DishaRavi’s arrest is the latest escalation in India’s crackdown on free expression&political dissent as it seeks2stifle the farmers’ mass protests,” he said in a tweet on Sunday (Feb 14).
“Arresting Disha Ravi is yet another example of BJP, brutally and brazenly silencing every contrarian voice. Resorting to threats, intimidation and coercion by labelling dissenting voices as “Aandolan Jeevis” is the script written by none other than PM Modi. Democracy damaged,” said Sushmita Dev, President of All India Mahila Congress, on Sunday (Feb 14).
Arresting #DishaRavi is yet another example of BJP, brutally and brazenly silencing every contrarian voice.
Resorting to threats, intimidation and coercion by labelling dissenting voices as “Aandolan Jeevis” is the script written by none other than PM Modi.
— Sushmita Dev (@sushmitadevinc) February 14, 2021
US lawyer Meena Harris, whose aunt Kamala Harris is the current Vice President of USA, also tweeted in support of Disha Ravi and said, “Indian officials have arrested another young female activist, 21 yo Disha Ravi, because she posted a social media toolkit on how to support the farmers’ protest. In her social media post she had questioned the Indian government as to ‘why activists are being targeted and silenced by the government’.
Meanwhile, BJP Lok Sabha MP-Bengaluru PC Mohan compared Ravi with terrorists like Burhan Wani and Ajmal Kasab who according to him were also 21-year-olds. “Burhan Wani was a 21-year-old. Ajmal Kasab was a 21-year-old. Age is just a number! No one is above the law. Law will take its own course. A Crime is a crime is a crime is a crime,” he said in a tweet.
Burhan Wani was a 21-year-old.
Ajmal Kasab was a 21-year-old.
Age is just a number!
No one is above the law.
Law will take its own course.
— P C Mohan (@PCMohanMP) February 14, 2021
The students and activists who are demanding her release, have begun their peaceful protest at the Police Station near Disha Ravi‘s alma mater Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru, and were seen distributing saplings to the cops, as a sign of protest.
According to the Delhi Police officials, Disha is a key lead in the ‘toolkit’ case. As per the police, during her initial interrogation, she had reportedly admitted to editing, adding some things in the ‘toolkit’, and shared it. Last week, the Delhi Police sent a communication to Google seeking registration details and activity log of the account through which a ‘toolkit’ related to the farmers’ protest was created and uploaded on the social media platform. Two e-mail IDs, one Instagram account, and one Uniform Resource Locator (URL) were mentioned in the toolkit and police have asked for details from the respective platforms. The police had registered an FIR against unidentified persons in connection with the creators of the ‘toolkit’.