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Nov 20, 2012 at 09:35pm IST

Shiv Sena says Bal Thackeray our god, backs police action, girls quit Facebook

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena has once again justified the arrest of the two Thane girls who were arrested over a Facebook post in which they questioned the shutdown in Mumbai after the death of Bal Thackeray. Talking about the action against the girls, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the law had taken its course on the issue even as party's Thane leader called Balasaheb Thackeray god.

Speaking to mediapersons, Raut said, "We support the police action on Facebook comment. The law has taken its course." The comments from the senior Shiv Sena leader came even as there is uproar against the police action on the girls across the country. People have termed it as a violation of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech and Expression.

"Balasaheb Thackeray is our God. We will not tolerate any offensive comments against him. No Shiv Sainik and no Marathi Manoos will remain silent. The police knows who was behind the Facebook comment. The arrest is justified," Shiv Sena Thane rural chief Prabhakar Raul said.

Meanwhile, the girl who had posted the comment deactivated her Facebook account, and apologised for the same. Her friend, who was arrested along with her for liking the comment, said that they had apologised because they did not want to hurt anyone, but also because they were concerned about their and their families' safety.

The girls released within hours of their arrest on Monday evening, looked visibly shaken as they spoke to reporters about their trauma. They, however, added that the police were kind in their treatment to them. "They treated us very nicely. They didn't harm us," said the girl who had liked the status.

The girls have been receiving support from several corners, including Union Ministers Milind Deora and Kapil Sibal. Deora came out in support of the girls saying it was wrong on the part of the Maharashtra police to have arrested them.

Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said that the case might have been mishandled by the Maharashtra police and that the government could step in to save the situation. "The Maharashtra police mishandled the law, it's illegal to arrest people like this," he said.

Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Police officers who arrested the two girls in Mumbai shud be immediately dismissed. That's minimum that the govt ought to do.(sic)" Activist Kiran Bedi also said, "The complaint was wrong, Magistrate was wrong, the police were equally wrong."

This came a day after Press Council of India chief and former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan demanding action against the policemen. In his letter, he called the arrest absurd, wrongful and a criminal act.