Police on Monday night arrested 10 persons for allegedly vandalising Dhada Orthopedic Hospital in Palghar after Shaheen Dhada put up a controversial Facebook post on Sunday. The hospital is owned by Shaheen’s uncle Dr Abdul Dhada.
The accused were produced before a magistrate Tuesday afternoon and granted bail, police said. They were booked for rioting, act endangering life or personal safety of others, mischief causing damage to property, and house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment.
The accused — Jaffar Abdul Khan Shaikh (27), Imran Ayubkhan Shaikh (29) of Dhongipada, Hemant Sitaram Sogle (30) of Komar village, Ganesh Girdhari Harijan (30), Mukhtar Rafiquddin Dhaikh (55), Santosh Madhu Pujari (23) and Ramesh Lakhu Gawari (24) of Gandhinagar, Mohankumar Paramhans Madesi (22), Usman Shafiullah Khan (43) of Wevur village and Sadanand Anant Bonge (35) of Vaghulsar village — were arrested from their homes.
“Dr Dhada named the accused and we arrested them promptly. We will make more arrests based on their statements,” said Shrikant Pingle, senior inspector, Palghar police station.
Inspector General of the Konkan Range, Sukhvinder Singh refused to comment.
Palghar Municipal Commissioner came out in defence of the police. “The police did the right thing by arresting the girls. A large crowd had gathered at the hospital demanding an apology and the situation could have gone out of hand. What if the post had been spread by Shiv Sena all over the Mumbai and Thane? There would have been riots all over,” said Nandkumar Vaman Patil.
He said Palghar is a quiet town and the incident had brought unnecessary attention on Palghar. “The Dhadas and Shiv Sena want to close this chapter. I told the IG that the police did a fine job and that there was no need for further intervention. Residents are satisfied that Shaheen apologised and want to move on now. There has never been this kind of police deployment here before,” he said.
Now, lawyer gets threat call
Corporate lawyer Karan Vaswani, 34, allegedly received threat calls from an unidentified person on Tuesday afternoon from a public phone booth after he questioned on Facebook the state honour accorded to Bal Thackeray.
The lawyer claims the Mumbai Police Helpline (100) promised action, but only after the threat was executed. “I first got a call at 1.53 pm today. He first asked me if I was Vaswani. When I confirmed, a battery of abuses followed. He said he lived in my area and knew where I stayed and threatened that he would get 500 men to my house, and show the consequences of free speech,” Vaswani said.
“I called the emergency hotline at 2.27 pm. A woman police personnel told me I should call the helpline if they came to attack. She said help would arrive in two minutes in such a situation,” he added.
DCP (Operations) Keshav Patil said, “The control room should not have responded that way. If the threat is reasonable or if the caller asks for help, the police station concerned should be informed. The police station sends its nearest beat marshalls to the spot. The number is traced and inquiries are initiated.”
It’s an extreme reaction, typical of Shiv Sena. This kind of intolerance has destroyed the intelligentsia of a city.
Writer, Vice-Chairperson of Children’s Film Society of India
It takes two to tango; it was stupid on the girl’s part to post something like that at a time when everyone was emotionally charged. The Maharashtra Police have always been communal. As the government, the Congress has never tried to secularise them.
Prahlad Kakkar, Ad guru
We are getting so stupid by the day that we are making idiots of ourselves in front of the global community. We need to stop it. Media will write about it for two days and then stop following it up. We all should react against it and demand a change in the legislation.
You always imagine this kind of thing happens in other countries. I only wish the young girls don’t lose their natural urge to oppose, to have an opinion, to have a just thought. That would be irreparable damage.
Tanuja Chandra, Film Director
It’s ironic. Two flaming young minds have been doused with fear for expressing themselves against a man who thrived on his ability to express himself with his cartoons, his written word and public speeches. The right to freedom of speech cannot be the property of people with might.
Bhavna Talwar, Film Director