Shaheen Dhada, a 21 year old college student located in India along with her friend was arrested for a Facebook “Like”.
According to Indian authorities, they broke India’s internet free speech laws.
This “Like” was concerning the death of Bal Thackeray and criticized the shutdown of Mumbai.
The two arrests made are said to have violated section 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code and were charged with Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, which is an internet crime for “menacing character”, and Indian Penal Code 295A. Each charge being held against them are punishable by three years in prison.
The two women have been released but this this has sparked an outrage. Many believe that everyone should have the right of free speech and be able to Facebook “Like” what they please.
Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju asked Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to look into the issue.
“Over 500 Shiv sainiks had come to the police station. They had the printouts of the Facebook message and the addresses of the girls. Since it was a sensitive issue after the death of Bal Thackeray, we initiated the action,” Ramdas Shinde, sub-divisional police officer, Palghar, said.