BENGALURU: Climate activist Disha Ravi’s parents were “extremely emotionally distraught” after a Delhi court remanded her to judicial custody for three days on Friday. “Her parents thought that on the completion of Disha’s five days in police custody, she would be released and she could return home. They are laypersons and don’t understand the difference between police and judicial custody. Their anxiety has only heightened after she was remanded to judicial custody,” said Disha’s family friend and advocate R Prasanna.
Her arrest in the farmers’ protest toolkit case has sent shock waves and led to angry reactions from activists, students, human rights organisations among others. Prasanna said that he was expecting that the court would send Disha to judicial custody, given the “nature of the offence she has been charged with, the gravity of the situation and the hype that has been created around it”.
Bengaluru lawyers meet Home Minister
“As a lawyer I was expecting such a court ruling. I, however, appreciate the urgency shown in getting her bail plea listed for hearing tomorrow,” Disha’s family friend and advocate R Prasanna added.Advocate Vinay Sreenivasa called Disha’s arrest “illegal” and stated that it is a “pity that someone is arrested and placed in custody for a crime which has not been committed. The Delhi police FIR has invoked Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code for sedition (against the accused). For sedition, there has to be a call for violence. Where was the call for violence?” questioned Vinay.
“On the other hand, the irregularities committed by the state in violation of the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code are glaring. The Delhi police illegally took Disha and there is no action against them? Instead, a young woman, who has committed no crime is again ordered to be in the custody of the state,” said Vinay.
“Disha’s arrest shows a certain lack of political judgement as there doesn’t seem to be any record of seditious activities,” felt Supriya Roy Chowdhury, Visiting Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS). She added that most young activists are “very serious about their ideas, ideals and their work. Their activism remains issue-based. Rarely, such activists are connected to larger political outfits or agendas. Most also remain self-consciously distanced from political parties,” she added.
Meanwhile, a delegation comprising representatives from Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Nammoora Bhoomi Namagirali, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, All India Students Association, All India Progressive Women’s Association, All India United Trade Union Centre, Campaign Against Hate Speech and also concerned advocates met Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday to share their concerns regarding Disha’s arrest. “We have also sought directions from him regarding our demand that the Bengaluru City Police should register an FIR against Haryana minister Anil Vij for his hate tweet,” said Vinay.