Women vow off Facebook, Sena justifies arrests

Shaheen Dhada

One of the young women held for posting comments on Facebook questioning the shutdown in the city for Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's funeral on Tuesday said she would never visit the social networking site again, as police arrested nine Sainiks for vandalising her uncle's clinic.

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said the report of the inquiry into the arrest of the women was expected by Wednesday. "It will look into whether the arrests were warranted and whether the sections applied were correct. It will also investigate the vandalism," he said.

Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut, however, justified the police action, saying: "The bandh was spontaneous... It was because of love and respect for Balasaheb. Shiv Sainiks were naturally upset at the misuse of social media."

Shaheen Dhada, who had put up a post questioning Sunday's shutdown, said on Tuesday, "I have apologised for the post," and added that whatever happened was unfair. She also said that she would never use the social media site again. She refused to comment on whether she had done anything wrong, but described Thackeray as a "great guy" whom they "truly respected".

While expressing "regret", Renu Shrinivas questioned her "wrongful" arrest for 'liking' Dhada's post. "This should not have happened. I never dreamt that I would be in court. What we did was not a crime. Now I will think twice before posting anything on Facebook," she said.

Dr Abdul Dhada, Shaheen's uncle whose clinic was ransacked, said he had suffered losses. "What has gone wrong should not happen again," he said. He added the family had no complaint against anybody, and had faith in the police.

"So far, we have arrested nine persons in connection with ransacking of the clinic. We are looking for some more people," SP, Thane Rural, Ravindra Sengaokar told PTI.

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