“They Obviously Didn’t Know Much”: Minister On Foreign Tweets On Farmers

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Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said more details would come from investigating the “toolkit”

New Delhi:

Investigations into the “toolkit” tweeted by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and others in connection with the farmers’ protest – a document police claim indicates a conspiracy behind the violence in Delhi on Republic Day – has “revealed a lot”, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said today.

Mr Jaishankar said more details would be uncovered as Delhi Police continues its probe, and took a swipe at “some celebrities” for speaking on matters “which they obviously didn’t know very much”.

“It has revealed a lot. We’ve to wait and see what else comes out. There was a reason why the Foreign Ministry reacted to statements which some celebrities gave out on matters on which they obviously didn’t know very much,” he was quoted by news agency ANI.

On Wednesday Ms Thunberg, 18, shared a “toolkit” with ideas to show support for the farmers, but many of those ideas were meant for Republic Day.

She subsequently deleted that and, the next day shared a new link, writing “they (people on the ground in India) removed their previous document as it was outdated”.

Yesterday the Cyber Cell unit of Delhi Police wrote to Google and social media companies, asking for information on e-mail IDs, URLs and details of accounts linked to the document’s creators.

A senior police officer told news agency PTI the document had been created by certain people and that it was important to identify them since there was an “element of conspiracy”. He said initial inquiries had linked the document to the “Poetic Justice Foundation”, a pro-Khalistan group.

A day earlier the police lodged an FIR (first information report) against the document’s “pro-Khalistan” creators for waging a “social, cultural and economic war” against India.

Delhi Police, which faced an online backlash after initial reports said it had filed the FIR against Swede Greta Thunberg, said its investigation was against the “toolkit” and not the teenage activist, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years running.

Ms Thunberg’s response to reports of an FIR against her was widely praised; she wrote: “I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest. No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that.”

Last week Greta Thunberg joined a host of eminent personalities, including Rihanna and American model-actor Amanda Cerny, in expressing support for the farmers.

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Their tweets made headlines around the world and a rattled government hit back with a caustic warning against the “temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments”.

The tweets also triggered a pushback from Indian celebrities, several of whom – including Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, and cricketers Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane – tweeted nearly-identical statements of support.

Actor Kangana Ranaut posted an abusive response to Rihanna that was later deleted by Twitter.

Lakhs of farmers across India are protesting the centre’s new farm laws, claiming it endangers their livelihood by allowing large corporate firms to bully them.

They say these laws will endanger their livelihoods by, among other things, allowing corporates to exploit them. The farmers also fear the loss of the MSP (minimum support price) system.

Today the farmers held a peaceful three-hour chakka jam (blocking) of state and national highways in many parts of northern India.

With input from ANI, PTI

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