The Straits Times
Published on Nov 20, 2012

Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook post


NEW DELHI (AP) - Indian officials have arrested one young woman for a Facebook post criticising the shutdown of Mumbai for the funeral of a powerful Hindu fundamentalist politician. Another young woman was arrested simply for hitting the "like" button next to the comment.

Analysts and the media on Tuesday widely condemned the Maharashtra state government for what they said were attempts to curb freedom of expression.

Shops and transportation across Mumbai, India's financial capital, closed on Sunday for the death of right-wing leader Mr Bal Thackeray.

The arrests of the two women on Sunday were seen as a move by police to prevent violence by Mr Thackeray's supporters. Both women were released on bail on Monday. The women apologised, but angry supporters ransacked an orthopaedic hospital run by the uncle of one of the women.