While the arrest of the two girls in Palghar over a Facebook update drew severe reactions and with the state resolving to take action against the guilty officers, the Shiv Sena has claimed that the police made the arrests to defuse the situation.
An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna on Monday rued that instead being congratulated, the police are being targeted.
“After that girl’s reaction [on Facebook], the people of Palghar got angry and gheraoed her house and her uncle’s hospital. The crowd of 5,000 to 10,000 people was angry and to avoid the likely fallout, the Palghar police took the girl and her friend into custody and kept them in safety in the police station,” the editorial said, adding that this was done to stop the incensed crowd from resorting to something untoward.
The editorial questioned why the girl, Shaheen Dhadha, did not post any comment on Facebook when Muslim youth had vandalised the Amar Jawan memorial outside Azad Maidan during the August 11 riots. It claimed that she had not done so to avoid reactions from staunch Islamists.
“Even before the flames of Balasaheb’s pyre died down, some people created unnecessary controversy regarding freedom of expression and the memorial,” the editorial said.