Mumbai, Nov.28 (ANI): The radical Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed success in imposing a shutdown in Maharashtra's Palghar town as a mark of protest against the suspension of two police officers for the arrest of two women who reportedly posted on the Facebook certain views, critical of the Sena and its late chief, Bal Thackeray.
It maybe recalled that police had arrested Shaheen Dhada and her friend Renu Srinivasan over a Facebook post criticizing the November 18 shutdown in Mumbai for the funeral of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. The Facebook post allegedly hurt the sentiments of Thackeray's followers.
Following an inquiry by a senior state police officer, the Maharashtra Government ordered the suspension of a Superintendent of Police and the in-charge of the Palghar police station on charges of dereliction of duty and wrongful detention. The suspended police officers were Ravindra Sengaonkar and Shrikant Pingle.
Objecting to the suspension, the Shiv Sena claimed today that it would hurt the morale of the state police force, as also prevent police officials from performing their duties effectively.
Shiv Sena Sanjay Raut said it was possible that the Maharashtra Government may have acted under pressure from top Congress leaders in Delhi.
"Palghar is 100 percent closed today. The way Maharashtra government took action against the police personnel in the Facebook case and the complete shutdown by the people of Palghar is a slap on the face of the government. The government has acted under pressure from maybe Delhi, Sonia Gandhi or even Rahul Gandhi. It could have also acted under pressure from companies like Facebook. The comments posted on Facebook by the two girls against Balasaheb could have created tension. So the police acted against them just for their safety. This even the parents of the girls have admitted. So what is the problem of the government? " Raut said.
Thackeray's funeral procession on November 18 brought Mumbai city to a halt as a sea of crowd, including supporters of Shiv Sena took to the streets, flyovers and even trees to get a final glimpse of their beloved leader.
The country of 1.2 billion people created new rules earlier in 2011 obliging Internet companies to remove a range of objectionable content when requested to do so, a move criticized at the time by rights groups and social media companies.
Despite the rules in place, India's Internet access is largely unrestricted, in contrast to tight controls in fellow Asian economic powerhouse China. But in line with many other governments around the world, India has become increasingly edgy about the power of social media. (ANI)