NEW DELHI (AP) – Two women from Mumbai were arrested on Monday because they posted and “liked” a comment on Facebook. The post criticized the shutdown of India’s financial hub for the funeral of Bal Thackeray, a rightwing leader.
Bal Thackeray, the Indian politician and founder of the right-wing party, Shiv Sena, passed away on Sunday determining the entire country to mourn his death. Some people did not agree with leaders’ decision to shut down the India’s financial hub and they decided to express their disappointment on Facebook, but authorities intervened to put an end to their online protest.
Two women were arrested on Monday after posting a comment on Facebook criticizing the mourning of the late leader. They were particularly upset that various shops and public transportation means were closed in honor of Thackeray. The ‘Like” they gave to the comment was another reason why police officers thought it would be best to arrest them.
According to the local press, the two women were released on bail several hours after their arrest. Analysts were amazed by authorities’ decision to arrest the two women, but police officers have explained that they resorted to these measures because they were only trying to prevent Thackeray’s supporters from organizing protests.
As a matter of fact, the woman who posted the message on Facebook became the target of Thackeray’s supporters’ anger. Her uncle’s orthopedic clinic in Mumbai was destroyed by a group of fanatics, who did not agree with her online comment. As a result, the woman was forced to delete her comment and apologize for the damages she might have caused.
Bal Thackeray’s death has been mourned by the entire country. The funeral was attended by 1.5 million people, so the streets had to be cleared off by traffic. Shops and offices were closed, whereas taxis and other means of transportation were removed from the road.