Mumbai: Shaheen Dhada, the Indian girl who faced arrest after criticising shutdown on the death of Bal Thackeray, has reactivated her Facebook account.
Dhada disabled his social networking service account last month following a row over her comment on the region-wide shutdown in the wake of Bal Thackeray’s death.
The doughty youngster announced her return on the site with a new photo—her face no longer draped in a dupatta—and the words “I am back..!!”.
Keeping the promise to restore normalcy in her life, the 21-year-old has reactivated her cellphone number and is readying her two-wheeler to travel through the lanes and bylanes of Palghar. For nearly a month, even these simple freedoms had eluded her.
Her return to Facebook on Saturday elicited several comments.
Within minutes, three friends welcomed her back. One friend, Ankit Upadhyaya, commented, “Back with a bang…Gr8”. To this, Shaheen replied: “Yaaah.” To others’ greetings, Shaheen responded with thank-yous. Within hours of the account’s reactivation, six people sent her friend requests. All of them she accepted.
Shaheen and her friend Rinu Srinivasan were arrested on November 19 by police on the complaint of the local Shiv Sena unit after Shaheen lamented on Facebook the region-wide shutdown on the day of Thackeray’s cremation and Rinu ‘liked’ the comment. Police hastily applied the stringent IPC section of 295(a) against them for hurting religious sentiments, but later changed it to IPC section 505 (2).
The nationwide outrage over the arrests forced police and the state to backtrack. Transfer orders were given to two senior policemen and a Palghar court magistrate too was moved out. Not soon after, as the Supreme Court questioned the legality of the arrests, the state director general of police and the government decided to drop the charges against Shaheen and Rinu.