PALGHAR, MAHARASHTRA — Mohammed Farooq Dhada, father of Shaheen Dhada, whose Facebook post had created a nationwide stir in 2012, on Tuesday said the credit for the Supreme Court verdict striking down Section 66A of Information Technology Act, 2000, "must go to my daughter".
A pleased Dhada said: "I never scolded her for (the post) and supported her always as she had done nothing wrong. We are happy by the verdict and all credit must go to my daughter."
His son Shakil said he had spoken to his sister Shaheen who "has welcomed the SC ruling and is very happy about it".
The duo also assured that they would support anybody else who faces a similar situation in future and urged the youth to emulate her example.
Shaheen became a national celebrity after her Facebook post questioned a spontaneous shutdown in Maharasthra, at the funeral of the late Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray on November 19, 2012 and her friend Renu Srinivasan 'liked' it.
Reacting to the verdict, Renu's father said: "I was shocked by their arrest then. They had done nothing wrong."
A happy and relieved Renu said: "I shall continue to speak out my mind through social media networks."
The innocuous social media network actions of the two friends had resulted in attacks, illegal detention by police for 10 days and a subsequent compensation of Rs. 50,000 by the National Human Rights Commission through Maharashtra government.
In contrast to the quick action against the two girls, the police failed to act on a mob of suspected Shiv Sainiks who went on a rampage at an orthopaedic hospital run by the family in Palghar.
Shiv Sena MP and editor of party mouthpiece Saamana Sanjay Raut said "social media does have a positive impact, but its also being misused. The police must have some powers in their hands".
Taking umbrage at the Maharashtra police actions, the NHRC had termed it as "a serious violation of human rights."
"Every citizen can interpret these comments as per his/her thought. However, these did not have any content to attract provisions of the IT Act, 2000. As per Article 19 of the Constitution of India, every individual has a right to freedom of expressions, which is a fundamental right and therefore, their arrest was a serious violation of human rights," the NHRC had ruled then, expressing displeasure at the state government's lackluster attitude in the matter.