The Straits Times
Published on Nov 29, 2012

India to change hate speech law after Facebook row


NEW DELHI (AFP) - India is set to amend its hate speech laws following a public outcry over two women arrested for posting comments on Facebook after the death of hardline politician Bal Thackeray.

The new guidelines by the communications and information technology ministry will make it harder for police to arrest people who post allegedly offensive material online.

The women, both 21, were detained a week ago over comments on the social networking site questioning whether the city of Mumbai should have been effectively shut down by the authorities for Mr Thackeray's funeral.

"Any complaint about online content that is deemed offensive will now require scrutiny by senior police officers," said a telecoms ministry official who declined to be named.