India: 2 policemen suspended, magistrate transferred for arrest of 2 women over Facebook post

NEW DELHI – An Indian official says two senior policemen have been suspended for arresting two women over a Facebook post criticizing the shutdown of Mumbai for the funeral of a powerful politician.

Maharashtra state Home Minister R.R. Patil said Tuesday the policemen were suspended indefinitely and the magistrate who registered the case against the women has been transferred to another district.

Police also arrested nine men who vandalized a medical clinic run by the uncle of one of the women, Patil said.

One of the women had posted a Facebook comment complaining that Mumbai had come to a standstill after the death of rightwing leader Bal Thackeray. Her friend “liked” the post.

Their arrest last week was seen as a misuse of Internet laws and an attempt to curb freedom of expression.