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#AT21.: Disha Ravi’s arrest shows age is just a number and an offence is an offence

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New Delhi, Feb 15: The arrest of Disha Ravi, a 21 year old climate activist for allegedly editing the toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg over the ongoing farmers' agitation has triggered sharp reactions across the country.

#21: Disha Ravi’s arrest shows age is just a number and an offence is an offence

While several politicians from the Opposition have come out in her support, the police has maintained that it does have a strong case against her. While stating that she is being probed for conspiracy, the Delhi Police also looking for another activist, Nikita Jacob.

Following the arrest of Disha, there were a barrage of tweets that questioned the actions of the Delhi Police for arresting a 21 year old activist. Delhi Chief Minister was one of the first to condemn the attack stating that the arrest of 21 year old Disha Ravi is an unprecedented attack on Democracy.

This led to a backlash, with many stating that age is never a factor for crime. Some users said those who are feeling sympathetic about the arrest and citing her age must recall the Adil Dar, the Pulwama bomber, who was also 21.

Others took the example of Hima Das, the 21 year old sprinter from Assam who is nicknamed as the Dhing Express. She holds the current national record in 400 metres. These exchanges let to #21 and #DishaRaviArrested being the top trends. Many even shared images of women in the Indian Army and said that 21 is the same age group. On one hand, these women have made India proud by joining the Indian Army and on the other hand there is the 21 year old Disha Ravi who is an alleged traitor.

Others asked how a 21 year old girl could have access to edit Greta Thunberg's toolkit, which is a detailed plan to cause unrest and riots in India.

One user spoke about how Indian soldier, Ankush Sharma (21) was martyred at Galwan fighting for the country and on the other hand, leftists are supporting Disha Ravi (21). There were also comparisons drawn to Ajmal Kasab and Burhan Wani, who were in their early 20s.

The war of words was not restricted to Twitter alone. Accusing the government of "murdering democracy" by using force against a 21-year-old, the opposition on Monday said the voice of India cannot be silenced even as the BJP defended the action, saying a crime is a crime no matter at what age.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi led the opposition offensive following the arrest of 21-year-old Disha Ravi in the case and said the country will not be silenced.

"Your lips are free to speak. Say that the truth is still alive. They are scared, not the country," he said in a tweet in Hindi.

"India will not be silenced," he added.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "Arrest of 21 year old Disha Ravi is an unprecedented attack on Democracy. Supporting our farmers is not a crime."

Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat tweeted: "if age is the criteria then Param Veer Chakra Second Lt Arun Khetarpal, martyred at 21 is who I am proud of. Not some toolkit propagandists."

BJP general secretary B L Santosh tweeted: "21 year old...environment activist...student...Are these credentials for becoming a part of breaking India forces? How does she get the access for editing tool kit...? Why she is part of anti-national WhatsApp groups...? Many questions...But only one answer...21 year old."

BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said, "A criminal is a criminal, gender and age are immaterial if not a juvenile. Just for your knowledge, Kasab was 21 when he attacked Mumbai."

"Supporting ''farmers'' is not a crime but conspiring against India and inciting others surely is," he said.
BJP''s IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya said, "The Left has been using young impressionable minds as cannon fodder for their deranged politics for a long time. From JNU to Jamia, AMU to Nadwa and now Disha Ravi, are all part of their sinister plot...Unfortunately they are abandoned soon after they have served their purpose."

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