The offending post against recently deceased leader Bal Thackeray resulted in two arrests, the latest in a string of crackdowns on Internet speech in the world's largest democracy.
The police in Mumbai arrested Monday a 21-year-old college student Shaheen Dhada for a Facebook status update and her friend Renu Srinivasan for clicking "Like" on the update. The case is the latest in a string of recent crackdowns on Internet speech in India.
The update had criticized a general strike called by a political party, the right-wing Shiv Sena, to mourn the death Saturday of its elderly founder and patriarch, Bal Thackeray. The controversial leader has been hailed by Hindu nationalists but also criticized by liberals for leaving behind a legacy of political violence in India’s financial capital. The party has been accused of anti-Muslim violence in Mumbai in 1992, and Mr. Thackeray frequently made statements against Muslims.
In her Facebook post, Ms. Dhada wrote, “Respect is earned, not given and definitely not forced. Today Mumbai shuts down due to fear and not due to respect." She also said that politicians like Thackeray are “born and die daily” and the city need not shut down for it, and that people should remember the martyrs of the Indian independence movement.