Shaheen Dhada (couldn’t find her genuine facebook link because of multiple account creation by her
name due to public support) along with her college mate – Renu Srinivasan – were arrested by the Indian Palghar police on November 19, 2012 after Shaheen posted a criticizing status which her friend liked it.
The status condemned the total shutdown of Mumbai on the funeral of of the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
It said: ”With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on. Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone showed some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians? Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect.”
Both were immediately arrested & were later released on bail. Thackeray’s party activists were infuriated over the posting of her status. Following the arrest, markets and public spots in Mumbai were shutdown due to fear of violence as this dilemma spread like a wildfire over Indian news mainstream.
The 21 year old – along with her partner – was accused of stating her opinion alfresco on Facebook. Adding to her remorse, her father’s clinic was vandalized (even this year recently again it happened but the 3 culprits this time were caught).
Crises broke out when both of them got arrested.
Evident that this was a mere ‘abuse of authority’ (as several quote it) to suppress free speech.
Later, Indian telecoms ministry revised its instructions, constricting guidelines to make it more tough for their police to make arrests over social networking websites or on other internet sites.
Now, a senior officer must approve before a complaint can be registered under the controversial Section 66A of the Information Technology Act which can send a person to jail for 3 years for sending an email which “causes annoyance or inconvenience”.
A dozen complications have emerged such as the defiance of a Delhi student – Shreya Singhal – who challenged the law in the Supreme Court, since this story got developed.