The first information report filed by the Delhi Police against creators of the campaign document tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg to support the farmers’ protest against the agricultural laws claims that it has given “a call for economic warfare against India and certain Indian companies”, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.
On February 13, the police picked up 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi from Bengaluru for her alleged role in editing and spreading the farm protest “toolkit” – a common term used by social activists for campaign material. A day later, Ravi was brought to Delhi, where she was formally arrested and sent to police custody for five days. The Delhi Police have also issued non-bailable arrest warrants against activist Shantanu Muluk and Mumbai advocate Nikita Jacob in the case.
The FIR in connection with the campaign document has been filed on charges of sedition, promoting enmity, and criminal conspiracy. “There is a call for economic warfare against India and certain Indian companies,” it alleged. “Their assets in India and outside are to be made targets for physical as well as coordinated actions. There is also a call to protest specifically outside Indian Embassies and target symbols linked to Indian culture such as Yoga and Chai.”
The Delhi Police’s Cyber Cell also said the document was “promoting” campaign material by alleged pro-Khalistan organisation Poetic Justice Foundation. According to the FIR, it is a Canada-based organisation that “openly and deliberately shares posts on social media that tend to create disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities”.
The police have said that Jacob and Muluk, along with Ravi, created and spread the “toolkit”. Earlier this month, the police had claimed the “toolkit” was aimed at waging a “social, cultural and economic war against the government of India” and creating divisions among various groups in Indian society.
The FIR also links the document to the violence that erupted in Delhi during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day. “It is evident from the contents of the said toolkit that the violence that took place on the streets of Delhi on January 26, 2021 near ITO, at the Red Fort, in Nangloi, etc, as a result of the farmers protest was a pre-planned conspiracy meant to undermine India’s sovereignty and integrity, the security of the state and public order,” it said.
It added that the farmers march turned violent because of “said instigation by elements behind this document and its toolkit”. During the rally, farmers broke through barricades and poured into the city, clashing with the police that tried to push them back with tear gas and a baton charge. One protestor was killed and over 300 police officers were injured in the chaos.
“After the violence on January 26, various social media handles are being used to spread rumours and fake news/videos to promote enmity between different groups, wantonly give provocation with intention to commit riots and bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection towards the Government of India,” the FIR said.