Drop charges against Palghar girls, act against cops: report

The Maharashtra police has recommended "administrative and departmental action against police officers" who hastily arrested two Palghar girls, Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivas, in connection with a Facebook post and suggested that charges against them be dropped, home department officials said.

"We received the report and submitted it to the state government," said Ahmad Javed, Additional DGP (Law and Order). The inquiry was ordered to check if Section 295-A was applicable to the case and if the girls had to be arrested immediately. Their arrest had sparked national outrage, with communication and IT minister Kapil Sibal saying the IT Act should not be "misused" to "throttle dissent".

Dhada and Srinivasan were arrested on November 18 for their alleged inflammatory Facebook post questioning the need for a Mumbai bandh following Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death. DGP Sanjeev Dayal had directed IGP (Konkan range) Sukhwinder Singh to probe the "police action".

The inquiry also went into the arrest of the girls after sunset, which is against the rules, probed if there was a misuse of the IT Act and if due procedure of investigation was followed before the arrest.

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