"I was walking towards the Palghar police station on Sunday evening when I saw a huge crowd gathered outside it. There were hundreds of people and I knew it was trouble. My life was over, I thought. And suddenly, a woman slapped me twice," said Renu Shrinivasan, the 20-year-old friend of Shaheen Dhada.
Rinu was arrested as she had liked Dhada's Facebook post on questioning the shutdown in the city after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death and also shared it.
"I did not understand what happened for a second when she slapped me. I just tried to control the fall and stood still. I wondered what I had done. And then quietly walked into the police station. She vanished into the crowd and I could not complain, nor tell anyone, simply because I was the one who the case was being registered against," she added, with tears rolling down her cheeks.
Rinu, a graduate in Botany, said that she was extremely traumatized after the incident and had never expected such fallout.
"I do not have any political inclinations and have great respect for the Shiv Sena. I am a common person; I do not have any power. The case will affect my career. But I cannot do anything. I only believe that we (Shaheen and her) should get justice," she said.
A resident of Palghar, Rinu said that visiting the police station was a traumatizing experience for her.
"I have never been to the police station until last night. I looked around and there were so many people staring at me. The place was so intimidating. And I was put through all of this only because I chose to express my opinion," she said.
Rinu added that she was not aware that she was going to be arrested until Monday afternoon.
She said that when she went to the police station on Sunday night, the officials told her that she would be allowed to leave amicably if she gave a written apology.
She left the police station only at 2.30am on Monday. She had removed the post from her profile and deactivated her account 15 minutes after she posted the controversial update, she said.
"When I was leaving the police station on early Monday, the policeman asked me to visit again on Monday morning. They made us sit all day, but we had no clue we were going to be arrested until they asked us to sign a court document on Monday afternoon," she said.
When asked if she would ever go back to Facebook, she joined her hands in impulse and said, "No. Not for two months at least. And even if I do visit the website, I will post updates about mundane things only."