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FB post on Thackeray: 9 held for vandalising clinic in Thane

PTI | NOVEMBER 20, 2012, 12:12 PM IST

Nine suspected Shiv Sena workers have been arrested forallegedly vandalising a clinic in Thane district after the niece of the ownerposted a comment on Facebook questioning the shutdown in the city for Shiv Senapatriarch Bal Thackeray's funeral.

Two girls--Shaheen Dhada and Renu--were arrested over theirpost opposing the Mumbai shutdown but were granted bail after they furnishedpersonal bonds, police said.

"So far, we have arrested nine persons in connectionwith ransacking the clinic of Abdul Dhada. We are looking for some morepeople," SP Thane rural Ravindra Sengaokar told PTI.

The girls said they have apologised for the posts.

Shaheen described Thackeray as a "great guy" whomthey "truly respected".

Shaheen, who was arrested after she posted comments on thesocial networking site opposing the shutdown on Sunday when 86-year-oldThackeray was cremated, said police was polite to her and she had no complaintsagainst any police personnel. "I have apologised for the post," shesaid, adding she had no comments to offer on whether she had done anythingwrong.

She allegedly said that one should not observe bandh forThackeray's funeral. "We should remember Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev,"the post said.

Her friend Renu, who was arrested for 'liking' the post,felt that she was "wrongfully" arrested.

According to their advocate Sudhir Gupta, both were arrestedunder section 505(2)(statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred orill-will between classes) following a police complaint lodged by a local Senaleader.

After the comment was posted, a mob of nearly 40 ShivSainiks allegedly barged into Dhada's uncle's clinic at Palghar on Sunday andvandalised the place.

Police sources said a FIR has been registered against morethan 50 people including some Shiv Sainiks who have been named in the reportfollowing the attack.

Also, a probe has been ordered into whether the contents ofthe Facebook post constituted an offence and even if the offence was registeredwhy were the arrests made, Maharashtra Police's IG (Law and Order) Deven Bhartisaid.

Abdul Dhada, whose clinic was ransacked, said, "For oursecurity they have posted the police because what has gone wrong should nothappen again...we don't have any complaint against anybody and treatment wereceived from the police station is absolutely fine".

The arrests had sparked an outrage with Press Council ofIndia chief Markandey Katju demanding "immediate" action againstpolice personnel involved.

In an e-mail to the Maharashtra Chief Minister PrithvirajChavan, Katju warned of "legal consequences" if he failed to take actionagainst the police personnel concerned.

Congress has said a police case against the girls was"unfortunate" and hoped Maharashtra government would take remedialmeasures.

Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal has said he was"deeply saddened" by the arrest of the two girls and that the IT Actshould not be used to "throttle dissent".

Renu said, "When I recall what happened to me it shouldnot have happened. I am so much shocked. It was not a crime."

Shaheen also said that her arrest was"unnecessary".

Union Minister of State for IT Milind Deora said,"There is a need for an independent inquiry into the girls' arrest".

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