Facebook outrage: charges against girls dropped

As might have been expected, the Maharashtra Police today decided to drop charges against the two girls whose arrests over a Facebook posting criticising the shutdown of Mumbai during Bal Thackeray's funeral sparked a national outrage.

Two Thane police officers involved in the arrests have already been suspended and a departmental inquiry ordered against them, while the magistrate who sanctioned the arrest has been transferred.

''No chargesheet will be filed in the case of arrest of two girls from Palghar. There will be a closure report,'' Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal said today.

The closure report in a case is usually filed by police before the court concerned when investigators conclude that no case is made out against the accused.

Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan, both 21, were arrested after Ms Dhada had lamented in a Facebook post the 18 November shutdown due to Thackeray's funeral. Shrinivasan had 'liked' the post. The two were later granted bail.

Though Dhada did not name Thackeray, a local Sena leader complained against the girls and police arrested the duo on November 19, sparking a nationwide outrage.