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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Action taken in Palghar FB case: Govt to HC

PTI  Mumbai, February 27, 2013
First Published: 19:52 IST(27/2/2013) | Last Updated: 19:52 IST(27/2/2013)

Maharashtra government on Wednesday informed the Bombay high court that it suspended two senior police officers over the arrest of two girls from neighbouring Palghar for protesting on Facebook the shut-down in Mumbai on the day of Bal Thackeray's funeral last November.

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The affidavit filed by the government says that superintendent of police, Thane (rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar and senior inspector of Palghar police station Srikant Pingale have been suspended and a departmental inquiry has been ordered.

The action followed a report of inspector general of police who conducted a probe. The affidavit, filed by Ruparao Deshmukh, joint secretary (home), also says that as per the IGP, Sengaonkar (an IPS officer of 2001 batch) had taken the decision on the arrest, and 'shifting the blame on junior officers was incorrect and unacceptable'.

A "letter of displeasure" was also issued to additional superintendent of police Thane (rural) by the additional chief secretary for not giving details and failure to prevent falsification of records.

The affidavit claims that action against the two officers was "prompt, diligent and effective". Petitioner Ketan Tirodkar's grouse is that though the IGP submitted a report, no action was taken.

The two girls were arrested following a complaint filed by a local Shiv Sena leader. While one of the girls had posted a comment on Facebook against the bandh, the other had 'liked' the comment.

They were later released on bail. Following a public outcry, the government said it would ask the police to withdraw the case against them.

The division bench of Justice PV Hardas and Justice AM Thipsay has now given the petitioner two weeks to file a rejoinder.


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