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Boy held for anti-Thackeray post

Posted on Nov 28, 10:34PM | IBNS

A 19-year-old boy was "detained" by police for posting a purportedly abusive Facebook status against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, just days after a similar incident sparked a nationwide outrage.

Police claimed that they were trying to determine whether the boy was indeed the author of the post so as to not repeat the "same mistakes" that they had committed in arresting two teenage girls for posting and liking a post criticising a city-wide shutdown for Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's funeral.

The boy, a resident of Palghar, Thane, was detained there for questioning on a complaint filed by Raj Thackeray's party.

According to reports, a mob of MNS supporters surrounded the boy's home on Wednesday and forced him to the police station.

The incident came on a day when a bandh call by Shiv Sena affected life at Palghar with markets and educational institutions remaining shut, said reports.

The party had called for bandh to protest against action taken against the policemen who had arrested two girls for their Facebook posts on party founder Bal Thackeray's funeral.

Around 500 security personnel were on duty in the area, where the Shiv Sainiks have put up posters asking people to support the shutdown. The family of the girl who had put up the Facebook post is not in Palghar, said NDTV.

On Tuesday, the Maharashtra government suspended two police officers in connection to the arrests of two girls in Mumbai for making a Facebook comment that questioned the shutdown in the city for Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's funeral.

Maharashtra home minister RR Patil said superintendent of police (Thane rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar and senior police inspector Shrikant Pingle have been suspended in connection to the incident.

"There was no need to charge the girls under wrong sections," Patil said.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has transferred magistrate RG Bagade to Jalgaon district in Maharashtra.

Bagade had sent the girls to judicial custody and later granted them bail.

The registrar of the high court had issued the transfer order on Monday.

Shaheen Dhada was arrested earlier this month for posting a comment against the shutdown, while another girl was arrested for 'liking' it.

Shiv Sena workers vandalised an orthopaedic hospital of Dhada's uncle after she posted the comment.

Several persons have been arrested for vandalizing the hospital, said reports.

However, the Shiv Sena defended the police action of arresting two girls.

They said any comments against Bal Thackeray would not be tolerated.

The post that sparked a controversy said instead of shutting down Mumbai for Thackeray's death, "We should remember Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev - two martyrs of India's independence."

The arrests were made under Section 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The girls were arrested after a Shiv Sena leader filed a complaint against them.