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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Facebook row: drop charges against women, says family

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 24, 2012
First Published: 00:34 IST(24/11/2012) | Last Updated: 01:23 IST(24/11/2012)

The family of Shaheen Dhada, the 21-year-old from Palghar who was arrested for posting a comment on Facebook denouncing Sunday's shutdown following Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death, will consider moving court if the police don't drop the charges against her and her friend, Rinu Srinivasan, 20, Dhada's lawyer said on Friday.

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"The family is not against the police or any political party. They want the charges to be dropped soon or we might go to high court," said lawyer Sudhir Gupta.

Sukhwant Singh, inspector general of police (IG), Konkan range, on Friday submitted the inquiry report into the arrests to the state director general of police, recommending administrative and departmental action against the officials involved.

Asked what they have to say about the action likely to be taken against the officers involved, Shaheen's father, Farooq, a businessman, said: "I am sure the inspector general will take required and appropriate action. We want the case against the girls to be withdrawn."

The Srinivasans said they did not really want action to be taken against officials at Palghar police station. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/11/24-11-12-pg-02-mumbai.jpg

Rahul Srinivasan, Rinu's 29-year-old brother who works in a private firm, said: "The police officers were under a lot of pressure when they made the arrests. Otherwise, they behaved cordially with the girls and us and were supportive throughout. It will not be right if action is taken against them."

Both Rahul and Farooq reiterated that both youngsters had merely expressed their opinion on Facebook.

"There is no question of creating hatred or promoting enmity. The girls were only expression their opinions. They made a mountain out of a molehill," Rahul said.

Shaheen and Rinu have been booked under section 66A of Information Technology Act (sending offensive messages through communication services) and section 505 (2) of the Indian penal Code (making hatred statements and creating or promoting enmity).

In his 150-page report, IG Singh has concluded that the initial application of section 295 (A) - deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feeling - of the IPC as well as the altered section 505 (2) are both completely unjustified.

The arrest, made despite orders from the headquarters against such action, is viewed as insubordination, an official from the director general of police's office said. The DGP has sent the report to the home department.

Action against the indicted police officials is likely to be initiated on Monday.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/11/24-11-12-pg-02-mumbai-c.jpg


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