New Delhi: The Delhi police have registered a case against unknown persons citing teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg’s toolkit for mobilising global protests against India’s controversial farm laws – for allegedly participating in a criminal conspiracy and promoting enmity for her tweets on the farmers’ protest in India, in a move that is likely to be criticised as overreach.
The 18-year-old had on Wednesday expressed her support to the farmers’ protest through a tweet, saying she stands in solidarity with them. She shared an article by CNN on the Internet blockade in the areas surrounding the farmers’ protest. Thunberg’s tweet had come merely hours after pop icon Rihanna asked on Twitter, “Why aren’t we talking about this?!”
Thunberg later shared a “toolkit” that she said could be used to help the farmers’ protest. The “toolkit” is a document which suggests peaceful actions such as holding a Twitter storm and protesting outside Indian embassies and the offices of the Adani and Ambani corporate groups to mobilise support for the the farmers’ protest in India.
Here’s an updated toolkit by people on the ground in India if you want to help. (They removed their previous document as it was outdated.)#StandWithFarmers #FarmersProtesthttps://t.co/ZGEcMwHUNL
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 3, 2021
According to reports, the FIR cites Thunberg’s tweets – she is among the nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize for this year – and charges those responsible for circulating the ‘toolkit’ with Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race) and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy).
Responding to the news, Thunberg doubled down on her support to the farmers. “I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest. No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that,” she tweeted.
I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest.
No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that. #FarmersProtest
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 4, 2021
Meanwhile, special commissioner of Delhi police, Praveer Ranjan, tweeted on Thursday evening that the FIR is only against the “creators of toolkit” and does not name Greta Thunberg. He added that Delhi Police will be investigating the case.
We haven't named anybody in the FIR, it's only against the creators of toolkit which is a matter of investigation & Delhi Police will be investigating that case: Praveer Ranjan, Special Commissioner of Police (CP), Delhi Police when asked if Police has named #GretaThunberg in FIR pic.twitter.com/NT2wu0KN9h
— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2021
On Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) responded to the international attention brought to the farmers’ protest, mainly due to Rihanna and Thunberg’s tweets, by issuing a statement which said “sensationalist” social media posts are not responsible. The statement ended with the hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.
Many actors and sportspersons also backed the MEA’s response, in what looked like a coordinated campaign.
Note: This story has been updated with the special commissioner of Delhi police’s reaction. This is a developing story and more details will be added as they become available.