On February 14, Bengaluru-based climate activist Disha Ravi was arrested by Delhi Police citing that she edited the toolkit Google Doc on farmers’ protest shared by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The police also alleged that Disha is a key conspirator in the toolkit’s formulation and dissemination.
Since then multiple Twitter accounts have surfaced that claim to be the official account of Disha. Out of these, the handle @climatedisha has gained over 6,000 followers and several tweets made in Disha’s name have attracted thousands of likes.
At the time of writing this article, the bio of @climatedisha reads, “Climate activist from India. Fridays for Future. Account presently handled by her cousin sister”. The account has tweeted six times out of which two tweets have been retweeted about 4,000 and 8,000 times (archived link 1 and 2). The second tweet which states “this is the only account dedicated to her” has gained over 24,000 likes. In both the tweets, the user has identified herself as Disha’s sister.
Alt News spoke to multiple people who either know Disha personally or have worked with her in a professional capacity. Each of them confirmed that Disha doesn’t have a sibling, unlike what was earlier claimed by @climatedisha. The News Minute journalist Prajwal had also tweeted the same on February 16.
Friends of Disha Ravi say this account is *not* connected to her. She is a single child and does not have a sister. https://t.co/d8DItNhlbp
— Prajwal (@prajwalmanipal) February 16, 2021
The account later posed as Disha’s cousin sister managing the activist’s account. However, a friend of Disha who used to follow her on Twitter confirmed that Disha is currently not on Twitter.
The Print’s science editor Sandhya Ramesh pointed out that @climatedisha is hiding replies that point out that it is a fake handle.
Wow, this account is hiding replies that point out that it’s fake pic.twitter.com/velSnVq6Mb
— Sandhya Ramesh (@sandygrains) February 16, 2021
A fake account claiming to be Disha Ravi’s sister and managing her account in her absence is believed to be genuine by many including journalists. Recently, multiple imposter accounts of Bharat Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait were also created. Several people, including Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, fell for one such account created in Tikait’s name.