Outrage over India Facebook arrests

  • The arrest of two women on Monday over a comment made on Facebook has ignited widespread anger in India.

    One of the women had criticized the shutdown of Mumbai in her post, following the death of controversial politician Bal Thackeray, while the other "liked" the comment.

    The women are accused of "promoting enmity between classes" and were released on bail after appearing in court.

    The death of the firebrand Hindu nationalist politician on Saturday brought India’s financial capital Mumbai to a standstill.

    In her Facebook comment on Sunday, 21-year-old Shaheen Dhanda wrote: "People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a 'bandh' [shutdown] for that."

    Her 20-year-old friend Renu Srinivasan 'liked' the status.

    In recent months, a number of people have been arrested in cases seen as a test of India's commitment to freedom of speech.