Former Supreme Court judge and Chairman of the Press Council of India Markandey Katju has written to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to protest against the arrest of two women for a post on Facebook protesting the shutdown over Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s death
“To my mind it is absurd to say that protesting against a bandh hurts religious sentiments,” Katju said on his blog.
Pointing out that people were not living under a fascist dictatorship, the former judge said that the act of arrest appeared to be a criminal act since it was a violation under sections of the Indian Penal Code to wrongfully arrest or confine anyone.
“Hence if the facts reported are correct, I request you to immediately order the suspension, arrest, charge sheeting and criminal prosecution of the police personnel (however high they may be) who ordered as well as implemented the arrest of that woman,” Katju said.
The PCI chief said that legal consequences would follow if the Chief Minister failed to take action.
A 21-year-old girl and her friend were reportedly arrested in Palghar in Thane district after the girl posted a comment on her Facebook page criticising the closure of shops and other establishments following the Shiv Sena founder’s death.