Indian police arrest 22-year-old climate activist for sharing farmer protest document

A 22-year-old climate activist was arrested in India for sharing a ‘toolkit’, a document, that was intended to help farmers protest against new agricultural laws.

Ms Ravi was one of the founders of the Indian branch of the Fridays for Future climate strike.

Delhi police say Disha Ravi was a “key conspirator” in the “formulation and dissemination” of the document

In a statement posted on social media on Sunday, police said she had “collaborated” to “spread disaffection against the Indian State”.

It said she was an editor of the document and had shared it with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Officials said Ms Ravi would be held in custody for five days. No formal charges have been announced.

Critics say the arrest was a clear warning to those who want to show support to anti-government protests.

Jairam Ramesh, a former minister and lawmaker for the opposition Congress party, called Ms Ravi’s arrest and detention “completely atrocious”.

Tens of thousands of farmers are now in their third month of protests camping on the outskirts of the capital, Delhi.

Farmers have been sheltering in tractors from the cold and have one demand repeal of three laws. They say the new laws destroy their livelihoods by bringing the nation’s vast agricultural sector under corporate control.

The farmers’ protests mark the biggest challenge India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced. His government has offered to suspend the laws but the farmers want them replaced altogether.