FB post row: 10 held for vandalising clinic

Tuesday

Palghar civic chief defends cop action, says post could have led to riots in Mumbai.

Police on Monday night arrested 10 persons for allegedly vandalising Dhada Orthopedic Hospital in Palghar after Shaheen Dhada put up a controversial Facebook post on Sunday. The hospital is owned by Shaheen's uncle Dr Abdul Dhada.

The accused were produced before a magistrate Tuesday afternoon and granted bail, police said. They were booked for rioting, act endangering life or personal safety of others, mischief causing damage to property, and house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment.

The accused — Jaffar Abdul Khan Shaikh (27), Imran Ayubkhan Shaikh (29) of Dhongipada, Hemant Sitaram Sogle (30) of Komar village, Ganesh Girdhari Harijan (30), Mukhtar Rafiquddin Dhaikh (55), Santosh Madhu Pujari (23) and Ramesh Lakhu Gawari (24) of Gandhinagar, Mohankumar Paramhans Madesi (22), Usman Shafiullah Khan (43) of Wevur village and Sadanand Anant Bonge (35) of Vaghulsar village — were arrested from their homes.

"Dr Dhada named the accused and we arrested them promptly. We will make more arrests based on their statements," said Shrikant Pingle, senior inspector, Palghar police station.

Inspector General of the Konkan Range, Sukhvinder Singh refused to comment.

Palghar Municipal Commissioner came out in defence of the police. "The police did the right thing by arresting the girls. A large crowd had gathered at the hospital demanding an apology and the situation could have gone out of hand. What if the post had been spread by Shiv Sena all over the Mumbai and Thane? There would have been riots all over," said Nandkumar Vaman Patil.

He said Palghar is a quiet town and the incident had brought unnecessary attention on Palghar. "The Dhadas and Shiv Sena want to close this chapter. I told the IG that the police did a fine job and that there was no need for further intervention. Residents are satisfied that Shaheen apologised and want to move on now. There has never been this kind of police deployment here before," he said.

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