"We stand in solidarity with farmers protests in India."
Pro-government activists have taken to the streets to burn effigies of Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg after she tweeted support for India’s protesting farmers.
Her tweets have also prompted a police investigation due to the fact that there is a controversial “toolkit”.
The toolkit, which contained documents guiding people on how to support the protests, was cited in a case filed by Delhi Police.
Crowds gathered to protest against several international celebrities including Thunberg and singer Rihanna.
Photos of the pair were set alight and banners were held up warning that “international interference” in Indian affairs would not be tolerated.
Thunberg became embroiled in allegations of an international criminal conspiracy against India after she tweeted a “toolkit” for people who wanted to show support for the farmers.
It included campaigning tips such as hashtags to use and advice on how to sign petitions.
Although she is not named in the police case, her tweet was believed to have brought police attention to the toolkit’s existence.
The BJP said the toolkit was “evidence of international plans for attacks against India”.
On February 3, 2021, Thunberg had tweeted:
“We stand in solidarity with farmers protests in India.”
She also linked a news article on heavy-handed measures being used against the protesting farmers.
Greta Thunberg has since tweeted again in support of the protests.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 4, 2021
In response to reports that a case had been filed against Thunberg, Praveer Ranjan, special commissioner of police for Delhi, said:
“We haven’t named anybody in the FIR [first information report], it’s only against the creators of the toolkit which is a matter of investigation and Delhi Police will be investigating that case.”
International personalities have shed light on the Farmers’ Protest, however, it has drawn anger from Indian leaders and pro-government activists.
The government warned against celebrities tweeting “sensationalist social media hashtags and comments”.
India’s foreign ministry said:
“It is unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them.”
Hundreds of thousands of farmers have been demanding for the repeal of the new agriculture laws.
Farmers believe that the laws will leave them vulnerable to exploitation by large companies.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the changes are needed to modernise Indian farming.
There seems to be little resolution in sight, with nine rounds of talks ending without success.
The protests have seen clashes between farmers and the police. One incident saw the Red Fort breached.
The clashes saw one protestor dead and nearly 400 police officers injured.
Authorities suspended internet access to several areas around Delhi and had previously blocked the Twitter accounts of farmers’ leaders and activists.
In addition, media access to the protest sites has largely been cut off.
A journalist was arrested for entering one of the sites while nine journalists are facing charges including sedition and conspiracy over social media posts relating to the protests.