The case and Ravi's subsequent short incarceration became a viral point of debate not just in India but also internationally, thanks to her links to global climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
Who is Disha Ravi?
Disha Ravi is one of the founding members of the Fridays For Future India Organisation and an active participant in the protests against the lack of action taken by concerned authorities on the issue of climate change. She is also a graduate in Bachelor of Business Administration from a private college in Bengaluru.
The organisation, Fridays For Future comprises a group of young working professionals and college students. The organisation is meant to highlight the issue of climate change and demands leaders to find solutions for the grave concern which is affecting the whole world.
Why was Ravi arrested?
Earlier this year, Ravi was arrested for allegedly being involved in sharing a "toolkit" on social media related to the farmers' protest. Delhi Police accused Ravi of being involved with preparing the "toolkit" with those advocating Khalistan and was part of a global conspiracy to defame India and create unrest in the country in the garb of farmers' protest. She was also accused of disseminating the "toolkit" in the form of a Google doc. According to the police, the "toolkit" was instrumental in leading to violence that broke out on January 26 when protesting farmers clashed with cops at Red Fort. Mumbai-based lawyer Nikita Jacob and engineer Shantanu Muluk were also arrested along with Ravi as co-accused in the conspiracy.
What is the 'toolkit'?
A toolkit is a document created to explain any issue. This particular toolkit on the farmers' protest was meant to simplify and explain the farmers' agitation to laypersons. It carried descriptions and documentation of the ongoing protests against the Centre's three farm laws, explained the reasons for the farmers' opposition to them and their demands and also laid out ways in which others could support or participate in the movement.
According to the Delhi Police, the toolkit on the farmers protest that Jacob, Ravi and Muluk allegedly created was developed with an intention to “tarnish India’s image”. The toolkit was distributed in the form of a Google Doc and went viral on Twitter.
Ravi herself shared it and the toolkit was also shared by Greta Thunberg.
How is Greta Thunberg related to Ravi?
The Swedish climate change activist had taken a critical stand on the ongoing farmers' protests in India in February, days before sharing the "Toolkit" on social media.
I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest.— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 4, 2021
No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that. #FarmersProtest
However, soon after she shared the toolkit, the activist reportedly got a WhatsApp message from Ravi telling her not to share the "toolkit" as it had both their names on it. According to reports, Ravi told Thunberg that they could get in trouble with UAPA due to the document.
Later, Thunberg tweeted her support for Ravi and her cause.
Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy. #StandWithDishaRavi https://t.co/fhM4Cf1jf1— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 19, 2021
What was the result of the Disha Ravi case?
Ravi was arrested from her home in Bengaluru on February 13 and was released after a Delhi court granted her bail ten days later. Terming evidence produced by police as scanty and sketchy, the court said there is nothing on record to establish any direct link between Ravi and pro -Khalistan activists of 'Poetic Justice Foundation' (PJF) and also there is not even an iota of evidence brought connecting the perpetrators of the violence on January 26 with the PJF or her.
Further, it observed that there is nothing on record to suggest that the activist subscribed to any secessionist idea and there is absolutely no link established on record between her and banned outfit Sikhs for Justice.
According to a recent report in The Indian Express, the probe against Ravi is likely to be dropped as neither Google nor Zoom has responded to the queries of the investigators. No charge sheet has yet been filed and is not likely to be. The report suggested that the police might file a closure report now in the case.