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Congress Asks How Charges Against Disha Ravi Can be Proved, Voices Concerns Over Country's Image

By: Pallavi Ghosh

CNN-News18

Last Updated: February 16, 2021, 19:18 IST

File photo of Congress leader Anand Sharma.

File photo of Congress leader Anand Sharma.

While Congress won’t shy away from defending the farmers' right to protest, the party won't be able to continue its support if Ravi and others involved in the making of the 'toolkit' are found to have links with the Khalistan movement.

The Congress, which has hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at Centre over the arrest of 21-year-old Disha Ravi, on Tuesday questioned how the charges against her and other such activists can be proved in a court of law.

The issue of Disha Ravi came up during the Parliamentary committee meeting on Home Affairs even though the agenda was demand for grants. According to sources, Anand Sharma, the chairperson of the committee, asked the Home Ministry officials as to how the charges against those like Disha Ravi can be proved in a court of law. He further expressed concerns that incidents like these affect the international image of India. Also present at the meeting was Congress MP from Punjab Ravneet Bittu.

However, it may be a double-edged sword for the Congress. While it won’t shy away from defending the farmers’ right to protest, the party won’t be able to continue its support if Ravi and others involved in the making of the ‘toolkit’ are found to have links with the Khalistan movement.

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A congress MP from the state, on condition of anonymity, said that the party will never support Khalistan and if charges against Disha Ravi and her associates are proved to have clinching association with the Khalistanis then the Congress may have to step back. The dilemma of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to balance the support for farmers and ensure his state is shielded and safe from AAP overtures is now throwing cloud over the Congress strategy at the national level. And thereby lie the crossroads, the Congress finds itself in.

On Saturday, the cyber unit of Delhi Police arrested climate activist Disha Ravi from her home in Bengaluru. The activist has been put in five-day remand custody in connection to the farmer ‘toolkit’ case that Delhi Police had been probing since it was tweeted by Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg earlier in February.

Further, the Delhi police on Monday issued a warrant against Bombay High Court lawyer Nikita Jacob who, they said, was also involved in creating the ‘toolkit’. Besides Jacob, police is also looking out for another activist Shantanu.

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first published:February 16, 2021, 19:16 IST
last updated:February 16, 2021, 19:18 IST