A week after the Palghar police arrested two young women for their Facebook posts criticising the city shutdown following Bal Thackeray’s demise, state director general of police, Sanjeev Dayal, on Monday set in motion the process required to take action against police officials involved in the arrest.
Public outrage had forced the state government and the police to announce an inquiry into the arrests. On Friday, Sukhvinder Singh, inspector general, Konkan range, submitted the inquiry report, indicting several police officials for taking “unjustified” action despite orders from their seniors to not arrest Palghar-based Shaheen Dhada, 21, and her friend, Rinu Srinivasan, 20.
Now, a senior officer will be appointed to conduct an inquiry to recommend the kind of action the department should take against the indicted policemen.
“In two days’ time, after discussion, a senior officer will be appointed to conduct this inquiry,” a source in DGP’s office, explaining that the DGP had on Monday put up the file for the inquiry.
The policemen indicted include superintendent of police (SP), Thane rural, deputy SP, Vasai, station in-charge of Palghar police station and some of his staffers involved in the case.
Explaining why the process could not have been initiated on Friday, an official said the delay was because of the weekend.
Former IPS officer and criminal lawyer YP Singh alleged that the inquiry report has watered down the gravity of the crime committed by the policemen. “The officials responsible for the unlawful confinement of the girls, in violation of their human rights, deserve criminal prosecution. They should have been dealt with in a similar fashion as they subjected the victims to,” Singh said. “Any departmental or administrative action will be lighter than the prosecution of the policemen under criminal laws.”