Unable to put behind the ordeal of her illegal detention and arrest thanks to the public attention the case has received, 21-year-old Shaheen Dhada has left Palghar for Gujarat with her family.
“We left for Gujarat on Sunday and have been here ever since. Shaheen wanted some peace and the best option was to leave Palghar. We will return once the dust has settled,” Farooq, 52, Shaheen’s father and a businessman, told HT over telephone.
Shaheen, who finished her graduation in management studies, lives in Palghar with her parents and her younger brother, Shakeel, 18, a student.
Though Shaheen was not in Palghar on Wednesday, during the bandh called by the Shiv Sena to protest the suspension of police officials, family members who stayed back in the town got police protection. Dr Abdul Dhada, Shaheen’s uncle whose hospital was vandalised on November 18 soon after she put up her Facebook post, said:
“A police van has been stationed outside my hospital and a policeman was asked to accompany me everywhere on Wednesday. Though I am not that afraid about my safety, my family is tense,” said Dr Abdul Dhada.
Rahul Srinivasan, 29, Rinu’s older brother, said the family had also been given protection on Wednesday. “A police van was stationed outside our house. My mother is a little shaken by the entire episode. Rinu was alarmed because of the presence of an armed policeman in our house. We are simple people and not used to such things,” said Rahul, an employee with an Amboli-based private firm. “We are not afraid for our safety, but life has changed because of this incident.”
Rinu recently completed her graduation in botany. From January, she will pursue a sound engineering course in a Chennai-based college.