LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – An arrest for a Facebook Like is shocking India residents. A Facebook post and like about Shiv Sena and Bal Thackeray has resulted in the arrest of Facebook account holders Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan. Indian officials are disputing allegations of censorship.
The case began last Saturday, officials tell news. That day, Shiv Sena, a local political group, announced news to hold a rally in honor of the passing of its founder Bal Thackeray.
But one resident took issue with the plans by Shiv Sena. Shaheen Dhada posted to Facebook a critical remark about Shiv Sena’s efforts and listed negative comments about Thackeray.
First, Shaheen Dhada wrote on her Facebook account “Respect is earned, not given and definitely not forced. Today Mumbai shuts down due to fear and not due to respect.” She then called Thackeray a typical official who is “born and die daily”.
Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju has denounced the arrest. In a letter he said “We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship.” Katu also said “In fact this arrest itself appears to be a criminal act since… it is a crime to wrongfully arrest or wrongfully confine someone who has committed no crime.”
Renu Srinivasan was arrested, not for commenting about the Facebook post, but only for pressing “like”. Reported’y two other students have been arrested as well. Their names have not been released to news. Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan are reportedly out on bail.