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Activists demand the release of Disha Ravi by removing all charges

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Environmental and rights activists from across the country on Friday demanded the immediate release of climate activist Disha Ravi and the removal of all charges against her and her co-accused.

Addressing the media through the Zoom digital platform, activists said the arrest of the 22-year-old Bangalorean was a warning to young people to “shut up and stay home” and parents to restrain their children.

They urged the Center to hold an open dialogue with the youth and all those who supported the agitation of the farmers and demanded the repeal of the insurgency law and UAPA anti-terror.

A Delhi police team had taken Disha from her Bangalore home in Delhi on February 13 and booked her for insurgency and other allegations of allegations of editing and sharing a social media tool on how to express support for protesting farmers .

Disha is part of the global Fridays For Future initiative started by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The National Alliance of Popular Movements, the Coalition for Environmental Justice in India and the People’s Union of Civil Liberties also demanded the revocation of arrest warrants against Disha co-accused Mumbai lawyer Nikita Jacob and Beed-based engineer Shantanu Muluk.

PUCL’s Kavita Srivastava said Disha’s constitutional rights had been violated.

“She was editing and sharing a document. She was on a Zoom call. Isn’t this an opportunity for young people to know more about the farmers’ war? she asked.

Srivastava described the uprising law and UAPA as “tools for the Modi government (to harass critics) whenever it is in trouble”.

“Whenever we face a challenge, the rest of us become anti-national,” she said.

Karnatian singer TM Krishna said: “We have long been told that fringe groups are what those who express (their views) aim for. Then it became very clear that the state itself is the aggressor and targets anyone who asks questions. ”

Krishna called Disha’s arrest a “warning to parents” to keep their children at home. “There are two types of attacks. One is frontal, basically saying, ‘Shut up and stay home’. The other is poisoning new minds. ”

Nagraj Adve of Teachers Against the Climate Crisis said the youths were scared after Disha’s arrest. “I spoke to some young people yesterday. “They all talked about their fears and anxieties,” he said.

“Those who are in the 10th and 11th standards are especially terrified. I’m really worried about what these arrests will do for climate change in this country. ”

He added: “For years there was no real movement. But over the last two or three years we have seen hundreds of young people making clear demands in the context of the climate crisis in many cities. “

In response to a question, Abhilasha Singh, a former student at Mount Carmel College where Disha graduated in business administration, said young people had their own way of overcoming such challenges.

“If you believe in something and have certain convictions, you will be pushed against anything that bothers you,” Singh said.

“It’s the only thing we can do now. With the solidarity we have built along the way, I see this as a fight we can make. “



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