Memorandum to the Karnataka Home Ministry Against the Illegal Arrest of Disha Ravi

A delegation met Karnataka Home Minister demanding for action against Anil VJ, Haryana Minister for issuing "exterminating" threats on twitter against Disha Ravi.

Anil vij, Minister of Home, Health, Urban Local Bodies, Medical Education and Research, AYUSH, Technical Education and Science Technology of Haryana, in his tweet had openly given a call for the killing of Disha Ravi, a 21-year-old climate activist and cofounder of Fridays for Future. In his tweet on February 15, 2021 the minister had said, “whosoever has the seed of anti-nationalism in their minds, they should be completely exterminated, whether it’s #Disha Ravi or someone else.”

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This tweet by the minister has been heavily criticised across the country. Campaign Against Hate Speech had demanded registration of FIR against the Minister. CAHS is a group of concerned activists, parents, lawyers and academics working to combat hate speech by sections of media and public personalities and on social media. The group also works to ensure compliance by media companies to law and ethics regarding hate speech.

However, till date Bengaluru Police has not acted upon this demand. Therefore a delegation comprising of 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 the Home Minister Shri Basavaraj Bommai to share the concerns regarding the illegal arrest of the young activist. 

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The delegation met the Home Minister on February 19, 2021. The demand to register a FIR against Anil VJ has been put forward. The delegation’s memorandum demanded that the directions to be given to Bengaluru Police to act on the previous memorandum; that the Home Minister of Karnataka writes to the Ministry of Home Affairs about the illegal arrest and to ask for an inquiry into the same, that they should stand with Disha’s family at this point and that action should be taken to ensure such incidents do not happen again. 

The Home Minister has assured that a meeting will be called within two days with the Advocate General and the Police regarding this issue.

The previous memorandum that was submitted to the commissioner of police observed that, the incriminating tweet had been retweeted 1,268 times, quoted tweets 453 times and liked 4,995 times, reflecting that the social media platform Twitter in fact is a public space. His tweet is likely to cause public mischief. Also noting that Anil VJ had grossly violated the Indian Penal Code (IPC) the complaint had demanded for a registration of a FIR under Section 153A, Section 503, Section 504 and Section 505. Given the specific threat to cause death and grievous hurt, the complaint had insisted that he must be especially charged with Section 506 under the Indian Penal Code.

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