Two policemen who arrested two young women for posting and liking a status message about a political leader were suspended from duty today. The move has been appreciated by a lot of free speech advocates, who were against the arrests made by the policemen last week. They blame India’s poorly defined internet law to be the root-cause to all the problems.
A department inquiry has been initiated against Ravindra Sengaonkar and Srikant Pingle, the suspended police officers. It all started when Shaheen Dhada, a 21 year old medical student for posting an update against the forced city-wide shutdown in Mumbai after a far-right political leader died. Renu Srinivasan who had liked that status update was also arrested and charged with engaging in speech that was offensive and hateful.
Ms. Srinivasan’s father told the media that he had no enmity with the policy and thanked the media and the country people for showing support for the release of his daughter. Both women were arrested and charged under Section 66A of the Information Technology act, which relates to statements that are likely to create hatred between two groups or classes of people. Charges against both the women haven’t been dropped but they were granted a bail last week.