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News updated at 4:06 PM IST

Delhi women want relief for arrested Mumbai girls

New Delhi, Nov 21, 2012 (IANS) 0:57 IST
The All India Democratic Women’s Association on Wednesday demanded that the Maharashtra Government take strict action against those responsible for the arbitrary arrest of two girls for posting comments after Bal Thackeray’s death on Facebook.

The AIDWA statement said the Shiv Sainiks are responsible for their harassment and
violence, and they must be arrested immediately. The Government must ensure protection for the young women and their families, it added.

It also demanded that the girls be compensated for the wrong use of power by the police.
“AIDWA expresses deep concern and outrage at the high handed arrest of the two young women in Palghar, Thane for expressing on ‘Facebook’ their discomfort at the complete shutdown in Mumbai following the death of Bal Thackeray. The local Shiv Sainiks, true to the intolerance practiced by their party, intimidated them into giving a forced apology and complained to the police,” said Sudha Sundararaman, general secretary, AIDWA.

“Shockingly, the Palghar police, instead of providing them security and taking action against those harassing them, arrested the women on serious charges of outraging religious feelings and posting an offensive message. After a public uproar these were later changed to an arbitrary charge of ‘creating enmity’. This is a complete travesty of the constitutional
right to democratic freedom of expression available to every citizen of India,” he added.

Sudha said the complicity of the police emboldened the local Shiv Sainiks and their supporters to vandalise two hospitals of a relative of one of the women and intimidate their families.

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