It’s been two days since a toolkit shared on Twitter by teen Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg caused an uproar in India. The toolkit shared by Thunberg offered advice, including joining on-the-ground protests and showing support on social media.
The Delhi Police said the toolkit creators appeared to “create disharmony among various social, religious and cultural groups and encourage disaffection and ill-will against the (government) of India”. Police swung into action and registered an FIR on charges of “sedition”, “criminal conspiracy” and “promoting hatred” against the creators of the ‘toolkit’ on farmer protests.
While Thunberg later deleted the original tweet and replaced with a new one, it has been suspected by the Delhi Police that ‘toolkit’ was created by a Canada-based pro-Khalistan organisation and “fed to Greta Thunberg” as a part of a larger conspiracy to create unrest in the country.
According to Delhi Police’s special commissioner (Crime) Praveer Ranjan, the toolkit predates the January 26 violence and points towards a “copycat execution” of the action plan mentioned in the it.
One name to emerge from this controversy is that of Canadian-born Sikh Mo Dhaliwal, who has been linked to the pro-Khalistani group ‘Poetic Justice Foundation’ and is suspected to be the creator of the controversial document.
Who is Mo Dhaliwal?
Mo Dhaliwal is the co-founder of Poetic Justice Foundation, an alleged pro-Khalistan group which is suspected to have created the toolkit and shared it with Greta Thunberg.
He is also the founder of a digital branding creative agency called Skyrocket which is located in Canada’s Vancouver. A webpage on the agency’s website identifies Dhaliwal as the Director of Strategy.
A video that surfaced recently showed Dhaliwal speaking about the Khalistan movement and farm bills and gathering support for the separatist Khalistani movement. The clip was reportedly shot during a protest outside the Indian consulate on January 26.
“If the farm bills get repealed tomorrow, that is not a victory. This battle begins with the repeal of the farm bills, it does not end there. If anybody tells you that this battle is going to end with the repeal of the farm bills, that is because they are trying to drain energy from this movement. They are trying to tell you that you are separate from Punjab, and you are separate from the Khalistan movement. You are not. And at some point, you have to understand the feeling and the emotion that the Khalistan group is bringing to this,” Dhaliwal can be heard saying in the video.
News18 cannot at present verify the authenticity of this video.
What did the toolkit say?
According to Delhi Police’s special commissioner (Crime) Praveer Ranjan, “The toolkit has a particular section which says — digital strike-through hashtags on or before January 26, tweetstorms on January 23 onwards, physical action on January 26 and watch-out or join farmers march into Delhi and back to borders.”
Poetic Justice Foundation Denies Allegations
While some reports have linked Dhaliwal and Poetic Justice Foundation to the toolkit Thunberg shared, the organisation has denied the allegations. In a statement on its website, co-signed by Dhaliwal, the organisation says it did not arrange for celebrities to tweet about the issue.
It further claims that it did not coordinate any protest activities that took place in India. “Poetic Justice Foundation did not coordinate Rihanna, Greta Thunberg or any number of specific celebrities to tweet about the #FarmersProtest. We didn’t pay anyone to tweet — and certainly didn’t pay anyone $2.5m to do so. However, we did generally encourage the entire world to share this issue,” the organisation said in a statement.