New Delhi (AFP)
An Indian climate change activist was released on bail Tuesday 10 days after he was arrested for allegedly creating a “toolkit” to help the country’s farmers protests which was tweeted by Greta Thunberg.
The arrest of 22-year-old Disha Ravi for sedition – which can lead to a life sentence – has drawn strong criticism from activists and politicians in India’s opposition.
Police alleged Ravi was a “key conspirator” in forming the toolkit, which was shared by Swedish climate activist Thunberg on social media.
The toolkit offers basic tips for joining the protest on the ground and how to show support on social media.
The officers said the aim appeared to be “to create disagreement between various social, religious and cultural groups and to encourage disaffection and ill will” against the Indian government.
Police also said Ravi and two others had been in contact with a Canada-based organization that allegedly supported separatists from India’s Sikh minority.
According to the Indian Express newspaper, a Delhi court on Tuesday found no “palpable reason” to deny Ravi bail, “given the scant and summary investigation.”
The protest of thousands of farmers, mostly Sikhs, in the suburbs of New Delhi since the end of November against the new agricultural laws has become a major challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The protests were mostly peaceful but turned violent one day in late January, when a rally of tractors by farmers in Delhi turned into a rage, leaving one person dead.
The protest then took an international turn in early February when pop star Rihanna, Thunberg, and US Vice President Meena Harris’ niece tweeted about the matter.
India’s foreign ministry called the comments “sensationalist”.
Thunberg sparked further anger by tweeting in favor of Ravi.
© 2021 AFP