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What Does Disha Ravi’s Arrest Mean for the Future of Activism?

Ravi’s arrest raises questions about whether the offences that she and others are accused of are even made out.

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In a move that has triggered anger and disbelief in equal parts across social media by legal experts, Opposition parties, climate activists and even the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, Delhi Police on 13 February arrested 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi from her Bengaluru residence on charges of creating and sharing a ‘toolkit’ on the farmers’ protest that was posted by international climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Ravi’s arrest marks the first arrest in an FIR filed by the cybercrime unit of the Delhi Police, which was registered against the creators of the ‘toolkit’ on 4 February.

Delhi Police’s statement claimed that Ravi was a ‘co-conspirator’ in the toolkit's formulation, and ‘in this process’ collaborated with ‘pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State.’

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Ravi has denied being part of any conspiracy and said that she didn't create the toolkit and just made two edits to it. She was produced before a magistrate in Delhi on Sunday, 14 February, who remanded her to five days police custody.

Ravi’s case raises questions on the legality of her arrest – and the process which the Delhi police followed – over and above questions about whether the offences that she and others are accused of are even made out.

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