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FB comment row: Probe indicts Palghar cops for girls’ arrest

Saturday, 24 November 2012 - 3:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Action taken in haste, slapping charges unwarranted, say IG.

The police were wrong in arresting the two girls from Palghar in connection with Facebook posts that were critical about the general shutdown on the day Bal Thackeray was cremated.

Sukhwinder Singh, inspector general (Konkan range), inquiring into the incident said in his report to Deven Bharti, special inspector general (law & order), that the arrests were made in haste and were irrelevant.

Singh has said that slapping charges under the IPC and the IT Act were unwarranted. The report has recommended action against the policemen for disobeying orders from their higher-ups, who had explicitly asked them not to arrest the girls.
The police are accused of giving in to political pressures. “The report recommends administrative or departmental action against some officers, including a senior officer, of Palghar police station,” a source said. Singh has submitted a 150-page report based on the statements of 15 people.

On Sunday the Palghar police had arrested Shaheen Dhada for posting a comment on Facebook criticising the shutdown in Mumbai and the suburbs in the wake of Thackeray’s death. Her friend Rinu Sreenivasan had posted a ‘like’ comment.

Angry Shiv Sena supporters had ransacked the orthopaedic clinic of Dhada’s uncle. The police had arrested Dhada and Sreenivasan but had not taken any action against those who had vandalised the clinic.

Bharti said he had received the report. “We have forwarded the report to the government for action,” he said.

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