Maharashtra-Haryana Assembly Elections

Aarey Colony Case: 29 Arrested, Section 144 Imposed As Activists Protest Cutting Of Trees

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 06 October 2019, 12:18 AM
People gathered in protest at Aarey Forest against felling of trees there late Friday night
People gathered in protest at Aarey Forest against felling of trees there late Friday night (Photo Credit : PTI )

Aarey Protests Highlights: Twenty-nine people, including six women, were arrested on Saturday in connection with the protest against the cutting of trees in Aarey Colony, a police official said. Those arrested are among the 60 people earlier detained by police. Section 144 has also been imposed around the colony. After several of them were detained, Aarey protesters shifted to Powai Lake to discuss next course of action. 

The MMRCL had started hacking trees from Friday to make way for a car shed of Mumbai Metro, hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and activists challenging the decision to allow felling of trees in the prime green lung of the city. However, hundreds of environmental activists gathered in Aarey Colony and protested. They tried to stop the authorities from chopping down the trees. Of over 2,600 trees which are to be felled, about 300 had been cut by Friday night, activists alleged. Videos of tree-felling went viral on social media.

5.00 pm

Green activists suffered a second jolt in two consecutive days when the Bombay High Court on Saturday refused to stay ongoing felling of trees at Mumbai's prominent green lung, Aarey Colony, to make way for a proposed metro car shed.

4:30 PM

29 protesters arrested from Mumbai's Aarey colony have been sent to judicial custody by the Borivali Court.

3:00 PM

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar backed felling of trees at Aarey Colony in north Mumbai, saying as per the High Court ruling it is "not a forest area".

"The High Court has ruled yesterday that it is not a forest. You can't fell anything that is forest," he said at a press conference, stating that people had also protested felling of trees for Delhi Metro.

"There was a need to fell 20 to 25 trees for setting up the first metro station in Delhi and then also people had similarly opposed it. But for each tree that was cut five saplings were planted," he said.

Javadekar said the forest cover in the national capital has increased since then and public transport system has also improved.

"This is the mantra of 'vikas bhi, paryavaran ki suraksha bhi' (development with environment protection)," he said.

2:40 PM

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray asks CM Fadnavis to look into the matter of cased being filed against the protestors.  

2:00 PM

Twenty-nine people, including six women, were arrested on Saturday in connection with the protest against the cutting of trees in Aarey Colony, a police official said. Those arrested are among the 60 people earlier detained by police.

"We have arrested 29 protesters. Six of them are women. Some of them had manhandled and beaten the police personnel deployed in Aarey Colony and obstructed them from discharging their duty," the police official said.

1:15 PM

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam questioned the hurry to impose Section 144 and lathi charge on activists. 

"Development must have a human face. What is the hurry to impose Section 144? Lathi charge on activists is unnecessary and I condemn it," Nirupam said.

1:05 PM

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will hold a press conference over the Aarey matter. Thackeray said he will talk about what is happening. He also promised action against 'murderers of trees' once their government comes in power.

1:00 PM

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi is currently outside Samta Nagar Police station in Mumbai. She was earlier detained by the police earlier today following protests in Aarey.

12:30 PM

Congress leader Millind Deora has supported the protests in Aarey calling the felling of trees 'a major setback for Mumbai'.

11:30 AM

Here's how Priyanka Chaturvedi was detained by police while trying to visit Aarey protest site. 

11:20 AM

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi has also been detained by Mumbai Police. Priyanka Chaturvedi was trying to make her way in the Aarey colony area when she was detained.

10:35 AM

According to ANI, entry into Aarey from Marol Maroshi Road has been restricted after Section 144 has been imposed in the area.

10:00 AM

Mumbai Police PRO said that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been imposed in the area near the metro-rail project site in Aarey. Police have currently cleared the area of protesters.

8:00 AM

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, who is contesting the assembly election from Worli this year, also tweeted and slammed Mumbai Metro for their actions.

However, one of petitioners in the matter asked Aaditya to 'walk the talk'. Stalin D, member of NGO Vanaskakti,  said, "Why can't the Environment minister under your party stop the work since there is a clear violation of terms of MPCB consent to establish? You can LEGALLY stop the work. Are you willing to walk the talk, Sir? Call me if you are." 

7:30 AM

Several tweets lambasted the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra as well as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation over the issue. MLA leader Jignesh Mevani also took to Twitter and appealed people to resists the illegal action.

"Urgent request to Mumbaikars: Authorities have already started cutting trees in Aarey after the order passed by the BHC today. Citizens are reaching Aarey forest to stop this. I request Mumbaikars to reach and resist this move right now," he tweeted.

7:00 AM

Aam Aadmi Party leader Preeti Menon Sharma said tree cutting was a violation of the poll code in force for the October 21 Assembly elections. Reacting to the cutting of trees at Aarey in the night, AAP leader she said, "This is Aarey being cut right now, in the dead of the night by the coward looter Devendra Fadnavis." 

1. This is a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct enforced during Elections which forbids new orders

2. The order was uploaded by BMC only today so it is deemed as an order today. They cant paas such orders during MC

3. The rule is that cutting begins after 15 days of being uploaded. They have begun hacking with a few hours

4. As a rule, trees are not cut in the night. This government has gone mad with power and greed. The opposition is dead. The Shivsena has sold itself

6:00 AM

People gathered in protest at Aarey forest against the felling of trees on Friday night. They were later removed by the police.

5:00 AM

The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to declare Aarey Colony a forest area and also declined to quash a BMC decision allowing felling of over 2,600 trees in the suburban green zone for a metro car shed. A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and environment activists related to Aarey Colony in Goregaon, a major green lung of the metropolis.

The division bench dismissed a plea by the city-based NGO Vanshakti to declare Aarey Colony a forest area.

"The issue is pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal. Hence, we are dismissing the petition on the principle of commonality and not on merits," the court said.

It also dismissed a petition filed by activist Zoru Bathena seeking that Aarey be declared a floodplain and challenging the civic body's approval to Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd to cut 2,656 trees in Aarey Colony to set up a car shed.

The bench imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Shiv Sena corporator Yashwant Jadhav, who had filed a plea against the approval granted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's tree authority. Jadhav is a member of the tree authority.

First Published: Saturday, October 05, 2019 07:34 AM
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