Disha Ravi, the 22-year old climate activist arrested in connection with the farm protest document case, was released from Tihar Jail in Delhi on Tuesday late evening, PTI reported. Earlier in the day, a Delhi sessions court granted her bail on two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each.
“I am happy that she got bail...It has reinforced our faith in the system,” Ravi’s mother Manjula told reporters in Bengaluru, the activist’s hometown. Asserting that Ravi had done nothing wrong, Manjula expressed her gratitude to all those who stood by her daughter, PTI reported.
She also said that Ravi had been telling them to stay strong, NDTV reported. “Every time Disha spoke to us, it was she who gave us the confidence and strength,” she said. “My daughter is very strong and bold [and] after all this, I have emerged a stronger mother. My message to other parents [would be that] we should stand by our children [and] in such difficult times we should be strong for them”
“I just want to hug her and feed her,” Manjula said, holding back tears, according to NDTV.
Ravi was arrested by the Delhi Police earlier this month for allegedly sharing and editing a document intended to amplify the protests against the new farm laws. The “toolkit” – a common term used by social activists for campaign material – was also tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
Meanwhile, activists from Ravi’s field of work also welcomed the court’s decision. “This is the way the judiciary is supposed to work,” environment activist Leo Saldanha of the Coalition For Environment Justice told PTI. “It is a historic and constitutional moment because an additional sessions district [court] has used such language, which one would have expected from higher courts. It reminds of the role of judiciary.”
In his order granting Ravi bail, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said the “toolkit” shared and edited by her did not call for any violence. The court also said there was nothing on record to suggest that Ravi “subscribed to any secessionist idea”.
“The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments,” the court order read.
Advocate Clifton Rozario who handles cases related to the environment, also appreciated the court order, PTI reported. “The judge has very critically demonstrated what a witch hunt this entire “toolkit” controversy is,” he said.
“It’s a welcome decision,” Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde told NDTV. “The magistracy...the judiciary at the first level have to be the first defenders of human liberty in this country.”