Arrest of two women over their Facebook post exposes the high-handed behaviour of law enforcers

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 23 November 2012 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The arrest of two Palghar women for their Facebook post has yet again exposed the callous, high-handed and irresponsible behaviour of the law enforcers.

The incident not only raises serious questions about the police's appalling lack of legal knowledge in dealing with such cases, but also a growing perception that they are getting away with these transgressions too frequently.

In none of the past cases, have the perpetrators in the department been booked, suspended or warned for violating the fundamental human rights of ordinary citizens. Barely two months, the Mumbai police jumped the gun and booked a young cartoonist, Aseem Trivedi, for sedition. His crime: his cartoons denigrated India's parliament and commented on political and bureaucratic corruption.

When the Bombay high court sought to fix responsibility for the "arbitrary" arrest for sedition, the state government ordered an inquiry against those involved in the registering of an FIR against him. However, it has been two months since the inquiry was ordered, but the report has still not seen the light of day.

In the Palghar case, the local police succumbed to pressure from a Sena mob, which threatened to turn violent. In a knee-jerk reaction, they arbitrarily slapped charges against them under the IT Act. Former chief RTI commissioner Sailesh Gandhi lambasted the magistrate and said it was his due to see the gross absurdity of the charge and ordered the release of the women.

The state government must warn the police not to abuse the law and threaten citizens.


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