Justice was served at last in the Palghar Facebook case yesterday, with the Thane Rural Police Superintendent Ravindra Sengaonkar being suspended for having shown undue haste in handling the case, even ignoring the instructions of his superiors.
According to sources, the Inspector General of Police Sukhvindar Singh and Additional Director General of Police Ahmed Jawed had clearly told Sengaonkar that the sections had been applied erroneously. However, he ignored the inputs and ordered the arrests of Shaheen Dhada and Rini Srinivasan.
“Such an error is grave and cannot be overlooked,” said Home Minister R R Patil while announcing the suspensions of Sengaonkar and Police Inspector Shrikant Pingle of the Palghar police station. Pingle had admitted to making the arrests under duress.
The minister added, “Such problems arise due to insufficient comprehension of the Information Technology Act. In future, police officials will have to discuss the matter with their seniors after registering an FIR, and in case of any doubt, they will have to discuss it with a senior government leader.”
Asked why the government had taken such a harsh step over an innocuous comment on Facebook, Patil blamed the media for blowing the matter out of proportion, “You people gave extensive coverage to it. Sometimes even a murder case doesn’t get that much attention.”
Patil appealed to people to use social media with due respect to the law, avoiding any religious or caste-based bias.