Mumbai, Nov 28: Even as Shiv Sena workers enforced a bandh in Palghar today, a 19-year-old resident of the town is now facing the heat for allegedly defaming Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Facebook.
Reports say MNS supporters reacted strongly to Sunil Vishwakarma's post on the social networking site. They picked up the youth from his house and took him to the local police station, demanding that he be immediately put behind bars for making derogatory comments about Raj Thackeray.
However, the cops did not file any charges against Sunil because they have been widely criticised for detaining two girls earlier on a similar charge.
Shaheen Dhada, a 21-year-old college student who lives in the same town, was arrested on Nov 18 after her Facebook post regarding the shutdown in Mumbai on the occasion of Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray's funeral drew the ire of Sainiks in Palghar. Though Shaheen tendered an apology and removed the post, a mob vandalised her uncle's clinic in Palghar.
Alongwith Shaheen, her friend Rinu Srinivasan who 'liked' the post was also booked under Section 295(a) of the IPC (for hurting religious sentiments) and Section 64(a) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Both the friends were later granted bail on surety of Rs 15,000 each.
The media, netizens and even the state government slammed the Palghar police for slapping wrong charges against the two girls. The Bombay High Court transferred judicial magistrate RG Bagade for remanding Shaheen and Renu in custody.
Superintendent of Police Ravindra Sengaonkar and senior police inspector Shrikant Pingle were suspended for hastily arresting the girls. A departmental enquiry has also been ordered against the police officers.
The Shiv Sena called for a bandh in Palghar today as the party was unhappy over the suspension of Sengaonkar and Pingle. Ironically, the town in Maharashtra's Thane district has again hogged the headlines with the arrest of Sunil Vishwakarma but this time it is the MNS that is responsible.