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Indian court orders climate activist to jail | World

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By KRUTIKA PATHI and ASHOK SHARMA Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) An Indian court on Friday ordered a 22-year-old climate activist to spend three days in jail in court custody in a case that critics say highlights a growing crackdown on dissent under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modis.

Police in the capital, New Delhi, arrested Disha Ravi on February 13 at his home in the southern city of Bengaluru for circulating a document on social media supporting the ongoing farmer protests that rocked the government.

Officials said the document spread false information about the protests and tarnished India’s image. They also said Ravi shared the document with Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who tweeted it earlier this month.

Ravi has been in police custody for five days for questioning.

Earlier this week, police said the document shared on social media indicated that there was a plot behind the violence on January 26, Republic of India Day, when the until then largely peaceful protests erupted in clashes with the police. One protester was killed and hundreds of police and protesters were injured.

The call was to wage an economic, social, cultural and regional war against India, Delhi police said.

Tens of thousands of farmers have camped outside New Delhi for months to protest new farm laws they say will devastate their livelihoods. The protests have posed a major challenge to the Hindu nationalist government of Modis, which says laws are needed to modernize Indian agriculture.

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