Police wary of registering complaint or making arrest

Cautious in the aftermath of the Facebook post row, the Mumbai police reportedly refused to file a complaint or make an arrest over a similar instance, in Thane district’s Palghar, of a post against deceased Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray that came to light on Friday.

The Sena’s local leaders have said they will approach the Chief Minister seeking restrictions on derogatory remarks against Mr. Thackeray on Facebook.

Dummy account

The Sena leaders said they came to know of the post against Bal Thackeray on Thursday evening. “It seems someone opened a dummy account of the fortnightly Palghar Mirror on Facebook. We found a derogatory picture of Balasaheb Thackeray on it. We then complained to the police. But no case has been registered as yet,” Prabhakar Ravool, local leader of the Shiv Sena, told The Hindu.

Meanwhile, the moderator of the Palghar Mirror Facebook page — believed to be one Mohammad Husain Khan — posted a message on Friday stating that someone had created a fake account in his name and posted some derogatory remarks on it with an intention to defame him.

Moderator ‘pained’

Mr. Khan said he was pained to see that someone was trying to disrupt Palghar’s peace.

The post (translated from Hindi) said: “I have registered a complaint with the police, who are trying to search the mastermind behind this. Friends, this has happened with me today, but it can be your turn tomorrow. Please stay alert and don’t believe rumours.”

The police, however, said no fresh case had been registered. “A person had approached us with a written complaint. But we have sent the memorandum to the Police Superintendent’s office,” an official at the Palghar police station told The Hindu.

“We have not yet registered any case. But we have come to know that a website was hacked and it carried a defaced picture of Balasaheb Thackeray. The Shiv Sainiks who had come with the complaint, saw that many such pictures of different politicians were there on the internet. Later, the picture was pulled out, it seems. The Shiv Sainiks have given a memorandum to the tehsildar office,” Sangramsinh Nishandar, Additional Superintendent of Police, Thane (Rural), told The Hindu.

Memorandum

Mr. Ravool said the party on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Thane (Rural) tehsildar and the SP. “We have submitted a complaint to the tehsildar saying that action should be taken against those persons who have posted such things on the Palghar Mirror page.”

The local Sena leaders said they would approach officials — the Thane Police Commissioner, Mumbai Police Commissioner, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Home Minister — in the coming days with the request that they should take proper action against Facebook as “such derogatory posts can incite violence in the society.”

“On Saturday, we will approach the Cyber Crime Cell of the Thane police as they are the only ones equipped to deal with such cases. When we approach them, at least then, a case will be registered there,” Mr. Ravool said.