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Indian activist Disha Ravi arrested over farmers’ protest ‘toolkit’

BBC

A 22-year-old Indian climate activist was arrested after sharing a document aimed at helping farmers protest the new agricultural laws.

Police said Disha Ravi was a “key conspirator” in “drafting and publishing” the document.

The ‘Toolkit’, which suggests ways to help farmers, was published by Greta Thunberg, a prominent activist.

Activists say Rafi’s arrest is a clear warning to those who want to show their support for the anti-government protests.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting for more than two months against laws they say only benefit big companies.

The new legislation loosens the rules around selling, pricing and storing agricultural products that have protected India’s farmers from the free market for decades.

The farmers’ protests represent the biggest challenge facing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His government has offered to suspend the laws, but farmers want them replaced entirely.

What do we know about the arrest of Disha Ravi?

Delhi Police have arrested Ravi, one of the founders of the Friday Strike for Future for Climate branch.

In a statement posted on social media on Sunday, the police said they had “cooperated” to “spread discontent with the Indian state.”

She said she was the editor of the document and shared it with Swedish climate activist Thunberg.

Officials said Rafi would be detained for five days. No formal charges have been made public.

Police said the toolkit suggests a plot in the run-up to a massive rally on January 26. Which witnessed clashes between protesting farmers and police.

“The call was for an economic, social, cultural and regional war against India,” said Praver Ranjan, Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, earlier this month.

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He added, “We have registered a case to spread discontent against the government of India – it is about discord – and disharmony between groups on religious, social and cultural grounds, and criminal conspiracy to form such a plan.”

He described Jeram Ramesh, former minister and MP for the opposition Congress Party, the arrest and detention of Ravi as “absolutely terrible.”

More on why farmers in India are protesting:

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