Political watchdogs are not surprised at the furore that Disha Ravi's arrest has caused. It has triggered another bone of contention between those who agree with government's move and those who don't. Now farmers' unions in Karnataka too are seeing red over the arrest of 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi by Delhi Police for her connection with the toolkit tweeted by Greta Thunberg.
Karnataka farm unions show support to Disha
Farmers' unions in the state have reciprocated their full support to Disha and have called her arrest illegal. The farm unions are preparing to show their dissent by agitating against her arrest on February 18. The day also slotted for nationwide rail roko call by Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
Several farm unions in Karnataka have decided to come forth and be a part of rail roko agitation across the state for three hours, between 12 noon and 3 pm. The agitation is not only to protest against the farm laws but also to show solidarity with farmers protesting at Delhi borders and Disha Ravi.
What the Karnataka farm leaders have to say
President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Kodihalli Chandrashekhar has questioned the intentions and motives of Centre Government in arresting Disha Ravi. "Today it's a young girl being arrested for supporting farmers, tomorrow this arm twisting will extend to supporters of other causes as well. Be it those supporting Dalits or labourers. Organising a protest and protesting is every citizen's right. As long as it is peaceful. This is an attempt to tarnish the morality and motives of those standing for the cause."
Kurubara Shantakumar, president of State Farmers' Unions Association also called her arrest an indication of "undeclared" emergency.
What those against the arrest have to say
Several environmental activists, lawyers and Ravi's college mates have come out in full support of her and questioned, "How can sharing a toolkit for a protest be treated like a seditious act?" Delhi Commission for Women has sent a notice to Deputy Police Commissioner, Cyber Crime Cell and Delhi Police over the climate activist's arrest taking notice of several complaints that allege due procedure was not followed in her arrest.
The commission has asked Delhi Police for a copy of the FIR and the reasons for her allegedly not being produced before a local court for transit and for not providing Ravi with a lawyer of her choice. It's been alleged that she was brought from Bengaluru to Delhi without giving notice of her whereabouts even to her parents. As per an NDTV report, former SC Judge Justice Deepak Gupta says he has gone through the toolkit and it contains nothing seditious.
What the Delhi Police says
That is not to say, her arrest does not have ardent supporters. Some political leaders have welcomed her arrest and come out in full support of Delhi Police. Earlier in the week, Delhi Police tweeted, "Disha Ravi arrested by CyPad Delhi Police is an editor of the Toolkit Google Doc and key conspirator in document's formulation and dissemination. She started Whatsapp Group and collaborated to make the Toolkit doc. She worked closely with them to draft the Doc."
Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava on Tuesday said Disha arrest was done as per the procedures. The Haryana home minister Anil Vij has come out in full support of Ravi's arrest by tweeting, "traitors and anti-nationals like her should be destroyed from the roots."