Women Arrested in Mumbai for Complaining on Facebook
For over 30 hours following the death of the Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray on Saturday, stores throughout Mumbai closed their shutters and taxis and autorickshaws stayed off the streets. While analysts throughout Mumbai debated whether the citywide shutdown following the death of Mr. Thackeray was inspired by fear or respect, one 21-year-old woman and her friend were arrested for raising a similar question.
On Sunday, the police in Palghar, in Thane district, on the outskirts of Mumbai, arrested Shaheen Dhadha after she posted a status update on Facebook that questioned the shutdown, also known as a bandh. A local daily, the Mumbai Mirror, reported that Ms. Dhadha, 21, had written, “People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a bandh for that.” The police also arrested her friend who “liked” the post, whom NDTV identified by her first name, Renu.
The women were arrested under Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code for “statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes.” Srikant Pingle, station house in charge of the Palghar police, told India Ink that the local Shiv Sena chief, whom he identified as “Mr. Bhushan,” filed the complaint against Ms. Dhadha because her comment on Facebook hurt Shiv Sena’s sentiments. Mr. Pingle declined to comment further on the details of the arrests.