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Arrest of girls for FB post on Mumbai shutdown sparks debate on social media
The life in Mumbai, that had come to a standstill due to Bal Thackeray's demise and funeral, has limped back to normalcy, but a debate rages on netizens' rights after the arrest and later release on bail of two college girls who had criticized the shutdown on Facebook.

THE TWO netizens, Shaheen Dhada and Renu, were sent to 14-day judicial custody by a Mumbai court due to their Facebook comment on the shutdown in Mumbai, but were granted bail within hours after they furnished personal bonds.

The girls were arrested following a police complaint lodged by a local Sena leader. But things did not stop there, scores of miscreants barged into a hospital at Palghar and vandalised it since it belonged one of the girls’ uncle.

With the netizens flaying the government for assault on their freedom of speech on social media, a probe has been ordered into girls' arrest. After the arrest of the girls, the social media starting buzzing with tweets and posts against the arrest and for curbing freedom of speech on the Internet.

Alyque Padamsee, shocked at the arrest and the vandalism at the clinic of one of the girl's uncle, wrote on Twitter, "I want to know how these girls have broken the law when all they said is that why should Mumbai come to a standstill. There is nothing derogatory against Thackeray. I do not see anything illegal in that."

Many felt that the government should amend the IT Act to uphold people's constitutional right of free speech on the Internet in modern times. One really wonders, how a chat on an event between two friends in the modern social media can be treated as an act of inciting people to disrupt social harmony and breach of law and order.

The arrests of the girls was condemned by the Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju demanding action against police personnel involved in girls’ arrest.

How come that vandalization by the followers of political leaders is not treated as breach of law and order while a chat on the social media about an event is treated so, one wonders?

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