Press Esc to close
Monday 20 October 2014
News updated at 4:46 PM IST
Weather
Max: 30.8°C
Min : 20.1°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Netizens flay Mumbai girls' arrest over Facebook post

New Delhi, Nov 19, 2012, (PTI):

The arrest of two girls over their Facebook post on shutdown in Mumbai for Bal Thackeray's funeral today again opened a can of worms with netizens calling the move a "social media hijack by the powerful and the fundamentalists".

Social media was abuzz with tweets and posts about the arrest, with most referring to the arrest as yet another move to curb freedom of speech on the Internet.

Noted journalist Gautam Chikermane tweeted "First Pondicherry businessman, now 21 year old Palghar girl. Next: all of us. Social media hijack by the powerful and the fundamentalists".

Minister of State (Communications and IT) Milind Deora tweeted: "To learn who rules over
you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize ~ Voltaire".


Communication specialist Alyque Padamsee expressed shock at the arrest and the vandalism at the clinic of one of the girl's uncle.

"I want to know how these girls have broken the law when all they said is that why should Mumbai come to a standstill. There is nothing derogatory against Thackeray. I do not see anything illegal in that," he said.

Padamsee further said the Constitution provides everyone free speech and that "no one should be arrested on such flimsy grounds".

Pavan Duggal, Cyber law Expert and an advocate with Supreme Court also voiced similar views. "This is high time for the government for the review of the law. The government should amend the IT Act so as to narrow down its provisions as some of the these violate our constitutional right of free speech."

He added that it would be a bigger challenge for the prosecution to prove that the statement could incite communal disharmony and violence.

"This should not be seen merely as "social media regulation", but as a restriction on freedom of speech and expression by both the law and the police," Centre for Internet and Society Policy Director Pranesh Prakash said.

The two girls--Shaheen Dhada and Renu--were sent to 14-day judicial custody by a court before which they were produced today but were granted bail within hours after they furnished personal bonds.

There was also an attack on the clinic of an uncle of one of them by Sena activists.
The arrests also sparked an outrage with Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju today demanding "immediate" action against police personnel involved.
While Dhada was arrested for the post, Dhada's friend Renu was arrested for 'liking' the post.

"Police arrested both of them under section 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes). Today, they were granted bail," their advocate Sudhir Gupta said.

The duo was arrested following a police complaint lodged by a local Sena leader.
After the comment was posted, a mob of nearly 40 Shiv Sainiks allegedly barged into Dhada's uncles's orthopaedic hospital at Palghar and vandalised the place yesterday. However, no arrests were made in connection with the attack.

Some other tweets in support of the girls read: "Hatred of minorities, liberals is an epidemic on Twitter. Law shd be harsh on hatespeak not on democratic rights of 21 year olds!Cheerio" (@sagarikaghose) and "So the girl n frnd got arrested for posting stuff on FB did Shiv sainiks get arrested for destroying the doc's hospital?? #Mumbai #Balasaheb" (@SocoMumbai).

Last month, a businessman from Puducherry was arrested on the charge of posting "offensive" messages on social media targeting Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Army recruits during their attestation parade at Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington, Ooty on...

Army recruits during their attestation parade at Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington, Ooty on...

In this Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 photo, a Kashmiri woman blocks a road during a protest demanding...

In this Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 photo, a Kashmiri woman blocks a road during a protest demanding...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 42nd Convocation of the All India Institute of Medical...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 42nd Convocation of the All India Institute of Medical...

Devendra Fadnavis hugs his mother Savita after his victory during the Assembly election in...

Devendra Fadnavis hugs his mother Savita after his victory during the Assembly election in...

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitaraman launching the Online Export...

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitaraman launching the Online Export...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP President Amit Shah after the party's parliamentary...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP President Amit Shah after the party's parliamentary...

In this Oct. 17, 2014 photo, a thick blanket of smoke is seen against the setting sun as...

In this Oct. 17, 2014 photo, a thick blanket of smoke is seen against the setting sun as...

In this Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 photo, an Indian woman uses her hand to put sawdust in an...

In this Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 photo, an Indian woman uses her hand to put sawdust in an...

(L-R) Asha Bhat, Miss Diva Universe 2014 2nd runner up, Noyonita Lodh, Miss Diva Universe 2014...

(L-R) Asha Bhat, Miss Diva Universe 2014 2nd runner up, Noyonita Lodh, Miss Diva Universe 2014...

An Indian man teaches yoga postures to schoolchildren at Delhi Public School in Hyderabad...

An Indian man teaches yoga postures to schoolchildren at Delhi Public School in Hyderabad...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523