Mumbai: Thane-based girl Shaheen Dadha and her close friend Renu, who were arrested by the Maharashtra police for posting comments on Facebook that questioned the shutdown in Mumbai after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death, have regretted their action and pledged never to write on the social networking website.
Reports, Tuesday, said the treatment meted to them by the Maharashtra police, the alleged ransacking of Shaheen’s uncle Abdul Dhada’s clinic and the growing anger against them in the Shiv Sainiks have scared the girls and forced them to deactivate their Facebook accounts.
Talking to reporters, Shaheen today said, “I apologize for the comment. We're scared with this incident. We won't write on Facebook again.”
The girl also ruled out that she was being threatened or there was any political pressure on her family to withdraw her comments and apologise for her action.
Breaking her silence on the issue, Shaheen said, “Treatment we got was very unfair. I regret putting up the post.”
However, she maintained that what she did was not a crime. “It was a casual comment on Facebook,” she said while talking to reporters.
On his turn, Shaheen’ uncle Abdul Dhada also said, “We have great respect for the late Shiv Sena leader. Our intention was not to offend anyone.”
He also said that he will not pursue any legal action against those who vandalised his clinic. He, however, said that police was free to take appropriate action against those who were behind the alleged ransacking of his clinic.
Meanwhile, Shaheen’s friend Renu, who had liked her Facebook post, also said, ”It was like a bad dream for her. I felt traumatised for approving Shaheen’s comment on the social networking website.”
The reaction from the girls came hours after the Maharashtra police arrested nine people from Palghar for allegedly vandalising Abdul Dhada’s clinic in response to Shaheen’s controversial Facebook post that questioned the bandh in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's death.
However, the police is yet to determine that those arrested by it are the local Shiv Sainiks.
21-year-old Shaheen Dhadha was arrested for Facebook status update which reportedly read- ‘People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a bandh for that.’
Her friend, Renu, who ‘liked’ her comment was also arrested.
The duo was reportedly booked under Section 295 (a) of the IPC (for hurting religious sentiments) and Section 64 (a) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
However, within hours of the arrest, both of them were released on bail of Rs 15,000 each.
Importantly, the girl had withdrawn the comment and apologised before the attacks took place.
Taking note of the incident, Justice Markandey Katju wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in which he termed the arrest as absurd and demanded immediate action against guilty officers.
Mumbai police also faced flak from Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who said that the case might have been mishandled by the Maharashtra police and that the government could step in to save the situation.
"The Maharashtra police mishandled the law, it's illegal to arrest people like this," Sibal was quoted as telling a TV news channel.
First Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 10:50