Aarey forest: Sec 144 Imposed, 29 arrests as activists protests cutting trees

After all the empty posturing of government and supreme court for the environment , Bombay high court ordered in favour of Mumbai Metro rail corporation (MMRC) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The authorities could not even wait one night and went on cutting trees in the Aarey forest early this morning. 

After all the empty posturing of government and supreme court for the environment , Bombay high court ordered in favour of Mumbai Metro rail corporation (MMRC) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The authorities could not even wait one night and went on cutting trees in the Aarey forest early this morning.

MMRC workers with the help of Mumbai police started felling trees at Aarey which saw protestors demonstrating the place in anger on Friday night. The activists say the authorities started around 3.15 am on Saturday early morning. By 10 am, the administration also clamped prohibitory orders in Aarey.

The protesters and activists demanded why the authorities couldn’t wait till a petition was filed in the Supreme Court.

Several photo and video evidence show that Mumbai police resorted to lathi-charge. By 10 Am, Mumbai police have imposed section 144 of CrPc near the area. close to 100 protestors were detained.

The police have booked 29 protesters under various sections of the Indian Penal Code since late Friday night, an official said, according to PTI.

Yesterday the court  refused to declare AArey colony as a forest and dismissed all the petitions challenging the cutting of 2,646 trees for a metro car shed. The area falls in the green zone.

As of now, at least 38 protesters have been booked under section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 143 (unlawful assembly) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed. 

Scores of locals, including environmental activists, have been opposing the cutting of trees for the construction of the car shed of the metro station. They are demanding the relocation of the bus depot, which is a part of the Metro III project.

Several Bollywood actors have supported the activists against the cutting of trees. Actors known to have pro-establishment stances like Amitabh Bacchan and Akshay Kumar have supported the metro project.

Several opposition leaders have also crticised the covert move by the metro and municipal authorities.

Aditya Thackeray, son of Uddhav Thackeray and the latest entrant into electroal politics from Shiv Sena camp has also crticised the move saying a project that should have been executed with pride was being done in “the cover of the night, with shame, slyness and heavy cop cover”. The irony is not lost on netizens who didnt lose a minute to show the hypocrisy of the leader who is only pandering to popular sentiment before the elections

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