Over the last two days, a "protest toolkit" shared by Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg has caused an uproar in India. Hours after lending support to the ongoing farmers' protest, she had shared a document to help guide agitators. Soon after this however, post with the Google Document link was delted, and a new tweet with an "updated" toolkit shared.
The deleted toolkit had given a detailed plan of action - from tweet-storms to participation in physical protests. The document spoke about agitating on January 26, as well as the flurry of tweets on February 4 and 5. And even as social media users railed against the situation, the Cyber unit of the Delhi Police registered an FIR against unnamed persons in connection with the creators of the document.
Delhi Police on Friday wrote a letter to Google seeking registration details and activity log of the account through which a "toolkit" related to the farmers' protest was created and uploaded on the social media platform. According to a statement by the Delhi Police, it has sought the "registration details" and "activity log" of the account through which the "toolkit" document was uploaded. Two e-mail IDs, one Instagram account and one Unifrom Resource Locator (URL) were mentioned in the toolkit.
Who is Mo Dhaliwal? How is he linked to the issue?
Reports have suggested that Dhaliwal is the person behind the toolkit. According to a senior Delhi Police officer, initial investigation has suggested the document's link with a pro-Khalistan group, named ''Poetic Justice Foundation''. And Dhaliwal is one of the founders of the organisation, alongside Anita Lal.
Dhaliwal is also the founder of his own company in Canada's Vancouver -- a digital branding creative agency called Skyrocket. While a Google search showcases a webpage on the agency's website with details about Dhaliwal, and identifies him as the Director of Strategy, this page is presently unavailable on the site.
Incidentally, he also appears to be a close associate of Canadian lawmaker and New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, who has repeatedly spoken out against the contentious laws. Indeed, photos shared on the Skyrocket Instagram page, as well as Dhaliwal's own handle repeatedly feature Singh.
According to a Times of India article that quotes Dhaliwal's Facebook page, he also appears to be in favour of the Khalistani ideology. "I am a Khalistani. You might not know this about me. Why? Because Khalistan is an idea. Khalistan is a living, breathing movement..." the TOI article quotes a September 2020 Facebook post to add.
What does Poetic Justice Foundation have to say?
While officials have linked Dhaliwal and Poetic Justice Foundation to the toolkit, and even payments for celebrity tweets, the organisation denies the allegations. In a statement on its website, co-signed by Dhaliwal, the organisation says that it did not arrange for celebrities to tweet about the issue, and that it did not coordinate any protest activities occurring within 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 statement says.