Facebook row: Shiv Sena calls for bandh in Palghar over suspension of cops
The Shiv Sena has called for a bandh in Palghar, in the adjoining Thane district, on Wednesday to protest against the suspension of police officers who had arrested two girls over a Facebook post that criticised the Mumbai shutdown during Bal Thackeray's funeral.
Shiv Sena MLA from Thane Eknath Shinde said the call for the bandh was given by the party's local unit. Criticising the suspension of the two police officers, he said, "The police acted as per the prevailing situation. Even the girls do not have any complaint against the police."
Earlier in the day, Thane rural SP Ravindra Sengaonkar and senior police inspector in Palghar, Shreekant Pingle, were suspended and a departmental enquiry ordered against them for applying wrong charges against the two girls while Additional SP Sangram Nishandar was "warned in writing and reprimanded" for dereliction of duty.
Announcing the action against the policemen, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said, "Wrong sections were applied against the girls and there was no need to take hasty action (against the girls),". Shiv Sainiks had ransacked the clinic of one of the girl's uncle in protest against her Facebook comment.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan has demanded that charges slapped on the two girls be immediately be dropped.
He said that with special IG (Konkan range) Sukhwinder Singh's report indicting the police for framing wrong charges, no case can be made against the girls and charges against them should be dropped.
Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan were arrested under IPC sections 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 505(2) IPC (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and the IT Act.