Facebook arrests: Decision on police probe report today, says Prithviraj Chavan

Facebook arrests: Decision on police probe report today, says Prithviraj Chavan
Mumbai:  Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has said that the state government will today take a decision on the police's probe report on the arrest of two girls from Palghar near Mumbai for a post on Facebook against the shutdown of Mumbai during Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's funeral.

The report by Inspector General Sukhwinder Singh, submitted on Friday, said that there were omissions and commissions on the part of the local police officers and has recommended departmental actions against errant cops, say sources.

The Inspector General had reportedly said that invoking Indian Penal Code's (IPC) Sections 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 505 (2) (making statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) against the women wasn't justified.

The report recommended that the charges against the two girls be dropped at the earliest, say sources.

The two girls were arrested on November 19 after a Shiv Sena leader Bhushan Sankhe lodged a complaint in the Palghar police station in Thane district. They were released hours later after paying two bonds of Rs. 15,000 each.

One of the women's Facebook status read: "Everyday 1000s of people die but still the world moves on. Just due to one political leaders death..  everyone just goes bonkers. They should know we are resilient by force, not by choice. Respect is earned, not given and definitely not forced. Today Mumbai shuts down due to fear and not due to respect." Her friend had liked the post.

A clinic owned by the uncle of one of the girls' was ransacked, allegedly by a group of 30 to 40 Shiv Sena workers. 10 people were arrested for the attack but were soon released on bail after Rs. 7,500 was paid by each as surety.

When asked about the incident, Shiv Sena spokesperson Rahul Narvekar said, "As far as the complaint is concerned, it was filed by an individual. And what followed was police action. I don't think the action of the police or that of the judiciary can be defended by an individual or a party. Coming to the so-called vandalism, I think out party has already made its stand clear. We have not promoted or incited any kind of violence."

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