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‘Reinstate cops suspended over Facebook arrests’

March 15, 2013 04:35 am | Updated November 17, 2021 10:45 am IST - Mumbai:

Shiv Sena leaders on Thursday clamoured for the reinstatement of >policemen suspended in the >Palghar Facebook case that caused shock and outraged civil society.

Sena MLCs Diwakar Raote and Ramdas Kadam questioned the suspensions, stating that the cops were being treated as the ‘guilty party’ instead of their actions meeting with a chorus of approval.

In November last, the State had suspended Thane Superintendent of Police (Rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar and Senior Inspector of Palghar station Srikant Pingale for applying wrong sections and disobeying the orders of their superior officers, while arresting Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan, two women in their early twenties residing in the township of Palghar in Maharashtra’s Thane district.

Both were arrested for questioning in a Facebook post the Mumbai bandh that disrupted the city in the wake of Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s death. Soon after, a clinic belonging to Ms. Dhada’s uncle was vandalised by a mob of Shiv Sainiks.

Speaking in the Legislative Council, Home Minister R.R. Patil said the Maharashtra government would take a call on the matter by the end of this week.

“The decision would accordingly be conveyed to the members of the Legislative Council next week,” Mr. Patil said, adding that it was “not the intent of the State government to demoralise the State’s police force.”

According to Mr. Raote and Mr. Kadam, it was the girls who had caused a ‘law and order’ problem with their Facebook post. The Palghar court quashed the case against Ms. Dhada and Ms. Srinivasan earlier this year.

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