Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Farmers’ Protests: Delhi Police Writes To Google, Seeks Details Of ‘Toolkit’ Creators

Delhi Police have alleged that a ‘toolkit’ shared by Greta Thunberg regarding the farmers’ protest was created by ‘pro-Khalistan’ supporters to wage a ‘social, cultural and economic war against the Government of India’.

Farmers at Ghazipur border during the ongoing agitation over farm reform laws, in New Delhi. Suresh K Pandey/Outlook

Intensifying its crackdown on those allegedly spreading false information about the farmers’ protest in the national capital, the Delhi Police on Friday asked Google and some other social media giants to provide information about email ids, URLs and certain social media accounts related to the creators of a "toolkit” shared by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg regarding the farmers’ protest.

This comes just days after a slew of international celebrities and activists including Thunberg, pop singer Rihanna and adult star Mia Khalifa expressed solidarity with the protesting farm unions.

The Cyber Cell unit of the Delhi Police had on Thursday lodged an FIR against "pro-Khalistan" creators of the "toolkit" shared by Thunberg for waging a "social, cultural and economic war against the Government of India". The Delhi Police also registered a case against Thunberg.

Soon after Delhi Police filed the FIR, Thunberg tweeted saying, "I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest. No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that."

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell) Anyesh Roy said a letter has been written to Google and other entities seeking information from them about people who created these accounts and uploaded these documents including the toolkit on social media.

Police said they have sought details about the email ids, domain URLs and certain social media accounts mentioned in the "toolkit". This document was uploaded through Google doc and shared later on, Twitter.

As of now, we are waiting for details from the concerned entities and based on information provided by them, we will proceed with the investigation further, Roy said.

A senior police officer said that the original document will help the investigators in identifying the creators of the "toolkit" and the person who has shared it. He said the document in question was created, edited and pushed by certain people and it is important to identify them since there is an “element of conspiracy”.

The case against unnamed persons have been registered on charges of criminal conspiracy, sedition and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code, police said.

According to a senior Delhi Police officer, initial investigation has suggested the document's link with a pro-Khalistan group, named ''Poetic Justice Foundation''.

He said considering the unfolding of events in the past few days, including the violence on January 26, it has revealed "copycat execution" of the action plan mentioned in the ''toolkit'' which was also aimed at waging "a social, cultural and economic war against the Government of India."

According to police, the toolkit has a particular section which says --- digital strike through hashtags on or before January 26, tweet storms on January 23 onwards, physical action on January 26 and watch-out or join farmers march into Delhi and back to borders.

The document ''toolkit'' was aimed to spread disaffection and ill-will against the government of India and creating disharmony among various social, religious and cultural groups, the police added.

(With PTI inputs)