Climate activist arrested in ‘Toolkit Conspiracy’

Synopsis: A 22-year-old climate activist got arrested for misusing a toolkit. Such instances raise a question of alleged misuse of power by the government officials.   

Read More – Toolkit conspiracy case and its imapct on India- Explained Pointwise – ForumIAS Blog 


  • The Delhi Police has already registered multiple First Information Reports (FIRs) post the 26th January farmer protest in Delhi. 
  • They have now arrested Disha Ravi, a climate activist from Bengaluru for editing a toolkit published on 3rd February by climate activist Greta Thunberg. It was used by social media users to protest against the farm laws.   

What is a tool kit? 

  • It is simply a document containing a set of directives for social media campaigners. 
  • It includes the hashtags to be used, persons to be targeted, duration of campaign and other things for a systematic and synchronized online campaign.  

Reason for Arrest: 

  • The allegation is that the toolkit was made by Pro – Khalistani separatists. Thus,  editing it amounted to sedition and incitement to riots. 
  • The government believes that activist is part of a Global conspiracy to incite violence in the country by secessionists based in Punjab. 

Issues with Arrest: 

  • First, the Delhi Police didn’t’ seek permission from the state Police. By that, it disobeyed interstate arrest guidelines formulated by the Delhi High Court. Further the accused was not allowed to be properly represented by a counsel. 
  • Second, the toolkit doesn’t contain any directions which led to direct incitement of violence. It was a necessary condition for sedition. 
  • Third, it undermines democratic power when people are arrested due to excessive suspicion and not on merits. Thereby undermining due process. 
  • Fourth, such arrest shows non judicious use of police power which will diminish India’s Global image. 

Way Forward: 

  • The focus should be on addressing the tolerance gap in governance and not on using more repressive strategies. 
  • The masses shouldn’t feel that their rights are not respected by the government and free speech should not be curbed by illegitimate means. 
  • In the case of Ravi, an impartial investigation to establish her crime should be done. 
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