On 19 February, a Delhi court sent Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old climate activist, to three days in judicial custody, after she had just spent five days in the custody of the Delhi Police’s Cyber Cell unit. The Delhi Police had detained Ravi, a resident of Bengaluru, from her house on 13 February, and arrested her the next day, in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy, among other offences. The first-information report in the case claimed that a “toolkit” had been “accidentally shared on Twitter which contains a detailed plan of a large conspiracy to wage an economic social cultural and regional war against India.” But a bare scrutiny of the FIR reveals that the police’s claims about the toolkit are tenuous at best.
On 15 February, the Cyber Cell of Delhi Police held a press conference to elaborate on the circumstances that led to Ravi’s arrest. During the briefing, Prem Nath, the joint commissioner of the police’s Cyber Cell unit, presented portions of the toolkit as incriminating evidence that tied the document to the violence during the farmers’ tractor rally in New Delhi on 26 January. Nath said that Ravi, along with a few more people, had “created and sent” this “toolkit” to others.
The toolkit in question was first tweeted by the Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg at 5.19 pm on 3 February with the caption, “Here’s a toolkit if you want to help,” regarding the farmer’s protest. At 1.22 am on 4 February, Thunberg tweeted an updated version of the document, which was titled “Farmers Protest in India,” and deleted the previous tweet. That afternoon, the Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police registered a first information report, 49/2021, under four sections of the Indian Penal Code, which include sedition, criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and provocation to riot, against unnamed persons. Apart from the toolkit, the FIR also accuses two organisations, the Sikhs For Justice, a banned Khalistani secessionist group, and the Poetic Justice Foundation, an advocacy group, of a “global conspiracy” against India.