Explained: Why the Delhi Police is investigating a farmer protest

Explained: Why the Delhi Police is investigating a farmer protest

The Delhi Police Cyber Crime Cell Thursday filed an FIR on charges of sedition, criminal conspiracy and promoting hatred against the creators of a ‘toolkit‘ on farmer protests, which was shared by climate activist Greta Thunberg. The FIR does not name anyone, including Greta, but Special CP (Crime Branch) Praveer Ranjan said a preliminary enquiry showed the toolkit seems to have been created by the Poetic Justice Foundation, which he alleged was a pro-Khalistani organisation.

What is a toolkit?

A toolkit is essentially a set of adaptable guidelines or suggestions to get something done. The contents differ depending on what the aim of the toolkit is. For example, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India, has a toolkit for the implementation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). This includes basics such as the guidelines to follow when investigating IPR violations, applicable laws, and definitions of terms such as counterfeit and piracy.

Why have they gained prominence?

While toolkits have been around for decades, the accessibility of social media have brought them into the spotlight over the past few years. References to toolkits for protesters can be found in the Occupy Wall Street protests of 2011, in the Hong Kong protests of 2019, several climate protests across the world, anti-CAA protests across India, and most recently in the anti-farm law protests centred in North India.