Facebook row: Court orders case be closed

The Palghar Sessions Court Thursday ordered that the Facebook post case involving Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan be closed. The Thane rural police had filed a C-summary report last month, which was challenged by complainant Bhushan Sankhe.

Sankhe, in his petition, also asked for summons to be issued to Shaheen and Rinu.

The order marks the end of a three month-long ordeal for the girls after they questioned the city's shutdown following Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's death on November 17 last year. Within minutes, Rinu liked Shaheen's post. In the next few hours, a violent mob gathered outside Shaheen's home and demanded an apology. Not satisfied with the verbal apology, Sankhe filed a complaint at Palghar police station. Police had charged both girls under Section 295 (A) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 (A) of the Information Technology Act.

"My investigation finished when I submitted the closure report. Sankhe can now approach Bombay High Cour but the case is closed at this level," said superintendent of police, Boisar, Vijaykant Sagar.

"The case is over, though Sankhe has the option of contesting the order in the sessions court. The full text of the order will be made available on Friday," said the girls' lawyer Sudhir Gupta.

The Srinivasans welcomed the the court's order. "We are now relieved. A small thing was made into a big issue when there was no intention to cause hurt," said Rinu's father P A Srinivasan. She will begin the audio engineering course at Muzic Lounge School of Audio Technology in Chennai in February.

Shaheen, who had gone to her grandmother's home in Gujarat, returned after the tension abated. "I have no problem if he (Sankhe) goes to the High Court. Shaheen has been moving freely in Palghar. She is happy with the order and is back on Facebook," said her uncle Dr. Abdul Dhada.

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