Mumbai: The case of the two girls arrested after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death has been moved out of the Palghar police station in Maharashtra's Thane district where it was lodged.

With the issue raising nationwide controversy, the case has been transferred to Boisar police station, about 15 km from Palghar, also in Thane, about 100 km from Mumbai. "Yes, I have been asked to lead the inquiry on both FIRs," Deputy Superintendent Vijaykant Sagar said on Tuesday from Boisar. "I have been assigned the case only three days back. It is premature to comment on the findings yet," he added.

On Nov 18, police arrested Shaheen Dadha, who posted a comment on her Facebook questioning the shutdown after Thackeray's death on November 17 and when he was given a public cremation the next day. Her friend Renu, who had 'liked' the Facebook comment, was also arrested.

A first information report (FIRs) was registered against Shaheen and her friend Renu for the comments that "hurt religious sentiments". A second FIR was registered by Shaheen's uncle Abdul, whose hospital was vandalised by alleged Shiv Sainiks after the Facebook post.

In an abrupt move, the Bombay High Court has also transferred the magistrate who released the girls on a bail of Rs.15,000 each. "We were told that the Bombay High Court transferred Ramchandra Bagade, the first class judicial magistrate at Palghar," Dadha's lawyer Sudhir Gupta said.

Speculation is rife that the superintendent of police (Thane Rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar is also facing suspension along with Palghar police chief, senior police inspector Shrikant Pingle.

Government sources hinted that the additional superintendent of police (Thane Rural) Sangram Nishandar, who is alleged to have played a major role in siding with the Shiv Sena, may escape with a strong warning.Reacting to the speculation, Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said police officials were merely doing their duty and it was unfair to suspend them for doing their duty. Raut said the party would strongly condemn the suspension.

On November 23, Inspector General of Konkan Range Sukhvinder Singh submitted a report on the case to Maharashtra Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal.

According to government sources, Dayal had submitted the preliminary report to additional chief secretary Amitabh Rajan, who allegedly recommended suspending Shengaonkar and Pingle.


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