A 19 year old Palghar resident, Sunil Vishwakarma, was detained today for allegedly writing an abusive post about MNS chief Raj Thackeray on his Facebook page, reports The Indian Express.
It’s not clear as to what Vishwakarma posted on his Facebook page. According to the report, a mob of MNS workers gathered outside Vishwakarma’s house and took him to the Palghar police station. However, the police has not charged Vishwakarma yet and is seeking legal advice for further proceedings.
The incident comes right after two girls, Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan, from Palghar were arrested under Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code for posting an anti-bandh update on Facebook. The girls were granted a bail after depositing a Rs 15,000 bond. Following the incident, the government suspended the superintendent of police (Thane rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar. Palghar senior police inspector, Shrikant Pingle, was also announced to be suspended and additional superintendent of police (Thane rural) Sangram Nishandar was reportedly given a warning. The Bombay high court also transferred the first class judicial magistrate at Palghar, Ramchandra Bagade, who had granted the girls bail of Rs 15,000 each. To protest the suspension of the two policemen, Shiv Sena activists carried out a shutdown in Palghar today.
In a completely unrelated incident, two Air India employees, Mayank Mohan Sharma and KVJ Rao, were arrested in May this year by the cyber crime cell of the Mumbai police for a Facebook post. Sharma and Rao had allegedly posted lewd jokes about politicians, made derogatory comments against the Prime Minister and insulted the national flag in their Facebook posts. An FIR was lodged against them in March which prompted a police raid at their homes past-midnight. In May, an arrest was made under the 66(A) and 67 sections of the Information Technology Act. Sharma and Rao spent 12 days in police custody and were suspended by their employer, Air India.
The flurry of arrests over updates on social networking sites over the last couple of days has only reinforced the need to make amendments to the IT Act, and specifically Section 66A of the act.