The arrest of young climate activist Disha Ravi in the Indian city of Bengaluru has sent Twitter into a frenzy, with more than a million people tweeting the hashtag #IndiaBeingSilenced.
Users are demanding her release as India's farmers' protests on the outskirts of Delhi continue to attract international attention.
#IndiaBeingSilenced is getting an huge response on social media.
Twitter is not going to silence us..— Kulvir Brar (@Kulvirbrar_) February 15, 2021
Modi is not going to silence us..
We are people who will speak..
We have a voice and are not terrified..
We are taught to never have fear..
We will roar !!#FarmersProtest #IndiaBeingSilenced pic.twitter.com/9aYHWn57be
Indian government trying to silence the voices of DISSENT by arresting ,young activitists , comedians , environmentalists will make it roar louder in the world.— Andolan Jeevi Reshma Sayed (@ReshmaSayed12) February 15, 2021
Remember #BhagathSingh#IndiaBeingSilenced pic.twitter.com/iHUWXaSE1u
Ravi's arrest came days after Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg offered her support to the farmers by sharing a protest "toolkit," much to the ire of Delhi Police who have registered a case against Thunberg for “criminal conspiracy."
The authorities claim Ravi is also responsible for preparing and sharing the toolkit on social media.
“She was one of the editors of the toolkit Google Doc and a key conspirator in the document's formulation and dissemination,” Delhi Police said in a statement.
Ravi is a founding member of the Indian branch of Fridays For Future, a climate campaign first launched by Thunberg.
Students & activists peacefully protested today at the police station.— Sowmya | ಸೌಮ್ಯ | http://sowmyareddy.in (@Sowmyareddyr) February 14, 2021
Students, It’s time to speak up at least now!
Terrorists are free & activists are in jail?
This is the promised #Achhedin, dear youth!
3/3#DishaRavi #FreeDishaRavi #FarmersProtest pic.twitter.com/TFmpRUqBg3
The Indian activist's arrest has sparked a strong reaction from fellow activists and netizens alike.
Students held a peaceful protest in Bengaluru city in India’s Karnataka state and presented saplings to the police while urging Ravi’s release.
India's Coalition for Environmental Justice has described Ravi's arrest as an "extra-judicial abduction."
"From the controversial Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2020, and in advancing laws that has drawn farmers' across India to protest, the wider public is becoming increasingly aware of the government's tendency to put corporate interests over the well-being and future of the nation," the statement said.
It's been signed by personalities like former Indian diplomat Arundhati Ghosh.
The arrest has also triggered international condemnation of the Delhi Police.
Meena Harris, the niece of US Vice-President Kamala Harris, has also tweeted in support of Ravi, so too UK Member of Parliament for Leicester East Claudia Webbe.
Indian officials have arrested another young female activist, 21 yo Disha Ravi, because she posted a social media toolkit on how to support the farmers' protest. Read this thread about the sequence of events and ask why activists are being targeted and silenced by the government. https://t.co/ycUgDEqwdF— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 14, 2021
Disha Ravi is 21 yrs— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) February 14, 2021
A climate activist from India she campaigns for clean air, clean water and a liveable planet
She is now facing state sanctioned violence for peacefully supporting farmers
Silence is not an option we must all condemn this act of suppression#FarmersProtest
Farmers from across India have been protesting since late November on Delhi's borders demanding that a trio of recently introduced agricultural laws be repealed.