Age, gender, profession irrelevant: Amit Shah on Disha Ravi's arrest
Commenting on the arrest of 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi in the "toolkit" case, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that factors such as age, gender, and profession are not relevant while assessing the culpability in a crime. He added that the case is being handled "meticulously" by the Delhi Police. Ravi was arrested earlier this month in relation to the farmers' protest.
"Kya gender, age, profession pooch kar gunah tay hoga (Will a crime or culpability be decided on the basis of gender, age and profession of the accused)," Shah asked in response to questions being raised on Ravi's arrest.
Speaking to the media, Shah said, "What kind of trend is this that people start talking about profession, association, and age in terms of a case?" He stated the Delhi Police have been given a free hand and there is no political pressure on them, adding that one can "approach the court and seek remedy if they feel that there is no evidence (sic)."
Shah criticized the media for pointing out why a young activist was singled out. "There might be many 22-year-olds who may have been arrested. There must be some evidence on which the Delhi Police had taken action. Delhi Police is acting as per the law. It has already given details of the IPC sections which have been used in the case," he reportedly said.
Disha Ravi was last week arrested from her home in north Bengaluru by the Delhi Police for editing parts of a toolkit - a Google document - related to the ongoing farmers' protest. The Delhi Police has since filed an FIR, charging the activist for sedition and criminal conspiracy. Ravi's five-day remand in police custody ends today and she might be produced in court.
Over the past week, Ravi's arrest has drawn widespread attention and severe criticism from fellow activists, Opposition leaders, as well as the international media, who have termed it as the central government's attack on dissent. "India is becoming the theater of the absurd and it is sad that the Delhi Police has become a tool of the oppressors," former Finance Minister P Chidambaram tweeted.