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Farmers’ Protest: Disha Ravi’s arrest questioned by protesting farmers; Samyukta Kisan Morcha calls for Rain Blockade on Feb 18

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Rail Roko

Agitating farmers pledged allegiance to 21-year-old climate campaigner Disha Ravi, who has been arrested by the Police Authorities for her suspected role in the development of the 'toolkit' posted by Greta Thunberg on Twitter. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, released a press statement, criticised the detention of Ravi and sought her release.

"Samyukta Kisan Morcha is extremely worried and angry about the blatant abuse of police government power through its attempts to undermine the continuing farmers' protest. It opposes the arrest of female environmental activist Disha Ravi despite appropriate regulations being implemented. SKM seeks her prompt unconditional release," the release said.

The SKM also claimed in the statement that climate activists were endorsing the protest against farmers, as further exploitation through the three new agricultural laws could drive farmers towards more wasteful practises for achieving objectives. 

In addition, the SKM also affirmed that on February 18, for 4 hours, it had called for rail roko (rail blockade) action across India. Repeating the thoughts of the SKM, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee has opposed the arrest of Disha Ravi. 

The KSMC also sought the removal of sedition proceedings against a number of journalists, following its coverage of the aggression of the 26th of January in the capital, claiming that the "panicked Modi government is killing morality by prosecuting a 21-year-old girl".

Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old environment activist, was detained on Saturday in Bengaluru on charges of illegally exchanging the toolkit affiliated with the farmers' agitation against farm laws at the centre with Greta Thunberg. Delhi Police reported that the "toolkit Google doc" editor, and the "main informant" was Disha Ravi, detained by a cyber cell team as part of the drafting and publication. 

Youth environment activist Greta Thunberg posted the "toolkit" to assist the farmers' protest against the three agricultural reform laws. The paper identified many desperately needed steps to help farmers' demonstrations, including generating a Twitter chaos and demonstrating around Indian Embassies.

A surge of controversy has been generated in India by the detention of Disha Ravi in Bengaluru and the transits to Delhi, with politicians, activists and university students demanding her early release.

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