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Charges dropped against girls held for FB post

December 18, 2012 22:28 IST

The police on Tuesday dropped all charges against two girls from Palghar whose arrest over a Facebook post criticising shutdown in Mumbai during Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's funeral last month had sparked an uproar.

A closure report was filed before a court in Palghar town in Thane district, dropping all charges against Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan, both 21, a senior police officer told PTI.

In her Facebook post, Dhada had lamented the November 18 shutdown due to Thackeray's funeral. Shrinivasan had 'liked' the post. Both were arrested by the police on November 19 on a complaint lodged by a local Sena leader.

They were produced before a court in Palghar, which granted them bail. They were booked under IPC Sections 295 (A) deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and also IT Act.

A closure report is usually filed in the court when investigators conclude that no case is made out against the accused. On November 20, police arrested suspected Shiv Sena workers who had damaged a hospital belonging to Dhada's uncle to protest the comment on the social networking site, though she had removed the post and apologised that day itself.

Following the outrage, Maharashtra government ordered a high-level inquiry into the arrest and later suspended two police officers, SP (Thane rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar and Palghar police station Senior Inspector Shrikant Pingle.

A bandh was observed in Palghar on November 28 on a call given by the Shiv Sena to protest against suspension of the two police officers.

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