Despite the trauma that she has been through in the past two days, 21-year-old Shaheen Dhada presented a brave face as she stood in a room at her uncle’s Palghar-based hospital on Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by her family. “I am not scared,” she said.
She said she continues to stand by her post and would not go back on her words as that’s her opinion, which she expressed with no malicious intention.
“Even when I gave the written apology, I did not apologise because I thought I had done something wrong. I apologised because my words had hurt a few people and I never intended to hurt anyone,” she said.
“I have a lot of respect for Balasaheb Thackeray. I was only expressing my opinion and I still stand by it. This was extremely unexpected.”
A graduate in management studies, Shaheen said somebody created a fake Facebook account in her name on Sunday night, following the incident.
“My cousins on Facebook saw the fake profile and informed me. Within an hour, the new profile already had 120 friends. And my original account had been hacked when I last tried to access it,” she said.
When asked if she would ever return to Facebook, she said: “I only want peace and harmony and I don’t think I will go back to Facebook in the near future.”
Shaheen said she had great respect for Shiv Sena and its chief and said she posted the comment because she did not support the shutdown. “I have no political inclinations whatsoever. That was my opinion and I simply expressed it. Who expected such a reaction?”
“I think it was the wrong time. Something ill-fated had to happen and it did,” she added.
Shaheen said her parents and she would discuss what happened and take a decision on their future course of action.