Although several Indian news outlets claimed the case was directly against the Swedish climate activist, a Reuters journalist has said “nobody has been named in the FIR,” which mentions unidentified authors of the toolkit.
Indian authorities have reportedly lodged a complaint after Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg tweeted a link containing information on how to support the ongoing farmers protest in India.
The tweet in question appears to have had a "toolkit" that has been circulating on social media and the document was tweeted out by many others before Thunberg shared it. She deleted that tweet and later reportedly shared an updated version of the toolkit.
There has been no official statement from the Delhi Police yet. A Delhi Police spokesperson told Anadolu Agency that he has no details to offer regarding the development.
In the aftermath of this development, Thunberg said she still “supports their peaceful protest."
“No amount of hate, threats, or violations of human rights will ever change that,” she wrote on Twitter.
Delhi Police's FIR against Thunberg has charged her with Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race) and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy), India Today reported on Thursday.
But Reuters correspondent Devjyot Ghoshal said on Twitter on Thursday that "nobody has been named in the FIR."
From the Delhi Police presser:— Devjyot Ghoshal (@DevjyotGhoshal) February 4, 2021
- No FIR against Greta Thunberg
- FIR against "authors" of the toolkit she tweeted out (and later deleted), but nobody has been named in the FIR
- Actions on-the-ground around Jan 26 were allegedly "copy-cat" of what the toolkit contained
The celebrity tweets triggered an online storm in India, where the protests have become the biggest challenge to Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he took power in 2014.
Protests since November
Thousands of farmers have been demonstrating on the outskirts of Delhi since November against laws meant to liberalise the agriculture sector. Farmers claim the new rules will threaten their livelihoods.
Farmers demand the withdrawal of new agriculture laws that they say benefit private buyers at the expense of growers.
Modi's government denies this, saying that the reforms open up new opportunities for farmers.
While the protests went on peacefully since they began in November, they turned violent on January 26, when farmers broke through police barricades to storm the historic Red Fort in New Delhi, injuring at least 400 police officers.
The government has now cut off the internet at the protesting sites, installed iron nails and put a barbed wire to barricade the protesting areas.
Reactions to Rihanna's tweet
Meanwhile, activists from United Hindu Front burnt an effigy depicting US singer Rihanna and activist Thunberg to protest against celebrities for commenting in support of protesting farmers, in New Delhi on Thursday.
On Tuesday evening, Rihanna, who has over 101 million followers on Twitter while sharing a news article by CNN network about the farmers' protest, wrote: “Why aren’t we talking about this?!”
Soon after her tweet, Thunberg, Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, and other international celebrities extended their support to the ongoing farm protest.
Thunberg said “we stand in solidarity” with the farm protest and shared a "toolkit" on how to help the ongoing protest.
Later New Delhi issued a disproportionate response to a tweet from popstar Rihanna in support of the huge protests against the new agriculture laws.
Top indian ministers, Bollywood stars and other celebrities have supported the government by writing the hashtags – #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.
Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar said that India’s “sovereignty cannot be compromised” and “external forces can be spectators but not participants.”
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, a Modi supporter, called the protesting farmers "terrorists" and Rihanna a "fool."
Twitter later removed two of Ranaut's tweets including one that branded the protesting farmers terrorists.
Actors and directors Anupam Kher, Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Karan Johar joined the fray against the "foreigners."
The government later threatened Twitter with "penal action" for unlocking 250 accounts and tweets on the farmers' protests that the US company had earlier blocked. Twitter took the initial action following a government notice, but reversed course after a few hours.
Among accounts targeted was a prominent news magazine and others linked to farmer unions.
A senior ministry official told AFP that the blocking order had targeted content that had the hashtag "#ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide" and not general comments about the protests.