21 year old Shaheen Dhada made a comment on Facebook about the shutdown in Mumbai following Bal Thackeray’s funeral. Ironically she was slapped with charges of promoting enmity and hatred and offending religious sentiments.
Her update read- 'With all respect, everyday, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on.....’
Shaheen was arrested for her comment. A friend who ‘liked’ her comment was also arrested.
A mob of Shiv Sena workers also attacked and ransacked Shaheen’s uncle’s orthopaedic clinic at Palghar, even though she withdrew her comment and apologised.
Though Shaheen and Renu have been granted bail now, they have still been slapped with Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code for "statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill- will between classes."
This move by the police is a gross clamp down on an individual’s freedom of speech and expression.
Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India, and former Judge, Supreme Court of India in his letter to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra condemning this arrest said, “Under Article 19(1)(a) of our Constitution, freedom of speech is a guaranteed fundamental right . We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship. In fact this arrest itself appears to be a criminal act since under sections 341 and 342 it is a crime to wrongfully arrest or wrongfully confine someone who has committed no crime.”
The arrest of a young 21-year-old girl and her friend for voicing her opinion against the complete shut down of a city due to the death of a leader,on a networking site, is not only wrong but also undemocratic.
I ask the Commissioner of Police, Thane, Mr. K.P.Raghuvanshi, to immediately take cognisance of this issue and drop all charges slapped on Shaheen Dhada and her friend Renu.
Sign this petition and join me in condemning this act of the Thane police and get them to drop all charges against Shaheen and her friend.
You can call the Commissioner of Police, Thane at 022 25344499 or the Director General of Police, Maharashtra Mr. Sanjeev Dayal at 022 22026672/22840598