On Thursday, Delhi Special Police Commissioner (Crime) Praveer Ranjan said that the Delhi Police registered a first information report (FIR) against the authors of a “toolkit to aid farmers” shared on social media by several individuals, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, but clarified that it did not “name anybody”
Earlier today, several Indian media outlets reported that on Wednesday, Delhi police registered a FIR against Thunberg for their tweets in which she expressed solidarity with protesting farmers and shared a toolkit that sought to help people better understand the situation and make decisions based on their own analysis on how to support farmers
Commissioner Ranjan said today at a press conference that the Delhi police were “closely monitoring” social media platforms and identified more than 300 accounts that were “being used to express sentiments against the Indian government [and] to spread disaffection among communities in the name of the farmers’ protest”
“A document was uploaded by one particular account that is named toolkit,” which was written by a pro-Khalistan group, he said. “This document delineates an action plan which says a digital strike and a Twitter storm should be carried out after Jan 26” along with plans for physical protests, he added.
He said it was a “copy of the plan in the document” referring to the January 26 incident in which thousands of Indian farmers breached barricades to enter Delhi’s historic Red Fort complex.
The Delhi Police have therefore filed a case against the perpetrators to be investigated by the Delhi Police Cyber Cell, the police commissioner said.
Nobody in it was named,”Nobody has been named in it,”
Using the hashtag #FarmersProtest, US pop superstar Rihanna shared a CNN article on the demonstrations with her 100.9 million followers on Twitter on Wednesday.
“Why aren’t we talking about this?!” she asked.
Several other individuals also tweeted following Rihanna’s tweet, including Thunberg, who used the hashtags mentioned in the toolkit, #StandWithFarmers and #FarmersProtest.
On Wednesday, after the tweets garnered worldwide support for the protesting farmers, India slammed the comments of the celebrities as inaccurate and irresponsible and said vested interest groups were trying to build opinion against the nation.
“Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken,” the Indian Foreign Ministry said.
Bollywood entertainers and sports stars, many of whom have long been silent about the protests of farmers and are known to toe the line of the government, tweeted in one voice as well.
For more than two months, tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on the outskirts of New Delhi, demanding the revocation of new agricultural laws that they argue, at the detriment of growers, favour private buyers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says agriculture sector reform will offer opportunities for farmers.
On January 26, when farmers burst into the historic Red Fort complex, the protests turned violent, with one protester killed and hundreds wounded.
So far, any progress has not been made by negotiations between the government and the protest leaders.