Referring to the arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi by the Delhi police, Haryana minister Anil Vij Monday said that anyone who has anti-national thoughts must be eradicated. Disha, a 21-year-old climate activist from Bengaluru, was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell Saturday for links to a farmers’ protest toolkit tweeted by teenage global climate activist Greta Thunberg.
“Those who have anti-national thoughts in their mind must be completely eradicated. Be it Disha Ravi or anyone else,” tweeted Vij.
Ravi’s arrest has triggered a war of words between the ruling BJP and the opposition.
Three-time BJP MP PC Mohan drew a parallel between climate activist Disha Ravi and terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Burhan Wani. Stating that ‘age is just a number’, the BJP leader in a tweet, asserted that no one was above the law. “Burhan Wani was a 21-year-old. Ajmal Kasab was a 21-year-old. Age is just a number! Law will take its own course. A Crime is a crime,” his tweet read. BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia also tweeted on similar lines.
The opposition, meanwhile demanded Disha’s release, calling it a “shocking” and “atrocious” act. Congress Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma described the arrest as “most unfortunate and shocking” while his party colleagues P Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh condemned the police move. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury posted on Twitter that the arrest “will awaken the youth of the country”.
Using the hashtag ‘India being silenced’, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also took to Twitter on Monday to demand the release of Disha Ravi.
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) February 15, 2021
Disha was produced in a Delhi court on Sunday and has been remanded in police custody for five days. During the hearing at the Patiala House Court before Metropolitan Magistrate Dev Saroha, Ravi broke down and told the court that she was not part of any conspiracy or group. “I was just supporting farmers…because they are our future…they are the ones who are providing us with our food and we all need to eat,” she said, adding that she did not create the toolkit and only made two edits to the document.
The toolkit was posted by Thunberg — she deleted the initial version and posted another — even as a series of celebrities, including pop star Rihanna, tweeted in support of the farm protests.