Shaheen Dhada is still haunted by the sound of the mobs that had gathered outside the police station she was whisked away to after she posted a comment on Facebook questioning the shutdown in the city after the demise of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray.
The 21-year-old, who graduated last year, aspires to study MBA. “I did not intend to hurt anyone with the comment,” she says. Dhada, who wanted to protect her family, refused to be accompanied by any family member to the police station where she was arrested under Section 66A of the IT Act. “I wasn’t even accompanied by a woman constable,” she says.
“I was afraid for my family’s safety. A mob of 2,000 people had gathered near the police station and about 400 people surrounded the hospital, which was later vandalised. Who will give us a compensation of Rs12 lakh for the destruction of the hospital?” she asks.
But the trauma hasn’t deterred this soft-spoken girl from going online. “I’m still active on Facebook,” she laughs. Now, Dhada is more careful about her posts. She wants to tell the youth “to be free and express their views and not be scared of anyone.”