In its struggle to quell unrelenting farmer protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is using a colonial-era sedition law that has been used to lock up dissidents often without bail while they await trial — sometimes for years.

Delhi police this month arrested Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old environmental campaigner, at her home in the southern city of Bangalore for editing and sharing a "toolkit” tweeted by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in support of the farmers. Police said the document aimed to "spread disaffection against the Indian state” in a tweet that tagged the prime minister’s office.

She joined at least seven others hit with similar charges since the farmer protests began almost three months ago, including a former foreign minister, journalists, authors and academics, part of a growing number of sedition cases under Modi. The total number of cases has risen from 43 when he first took office in 2014 to more than 100 each of the past two years, according to research group Article14. Since multiple individuals can be charged in one case, it said, the number of people affected stretches into the thousands.