Sources report that Bombay High Court has rejected a fresh plea of activists seeking stay on tree cutting at Aarey. The Court has also given judicial custody for Aarey protestors. Sources report that the next hearing will be on Monday. Mumbai Police has arrested 29 protestors so far.
Even as the protests continue in Mumbai's Aarey Colony against the felling of trees by authorities from Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL), Section 144 has been imposed near the metro-rail project site. Informing about the move, Mumbai police PRO said that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in the area near the metro-rail project site in Aarey. Following the imposition, Mumbai Police has stopped the entry of people from Marol Maroshi Road. Sources from the location informed that despite prohibitory orders, protestors refuse to move from the place and Police have resorted to lathi charge.
Protests in the Aarey colony broke out after the authorities from Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) allegedly started cutting trees in the area on Friday night, following Bombay High Court's dismissal of all petitions challenging the felling of trees. However, after videos of trees being cut at Aarey were circulated on social media, locals gathered at the site to protest. Calling the move "shameful and disgusting", Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray slammed the authorities and slammed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL). Bringing in Kashmir in the Aarey matter, he said that officials responsible for tree-felling must be posted across LoC in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir to destroy terror camps. He also said that Mumbai Metro is destroying everything India said about the environment in the UN.
Many environmentalists and even many local Shiv Sena members from the vicinity have tried stopping this. More so the increased police presence and the way this deforestation is happening, @MumbaiMetro3 is destroying everything India said at the UN @UNEnvironment @UN— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
The Bombay High Court, on Friday, refused to declare Aarey colony a forest and also declined all four petitions against the felling of trees. The Court also imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on Shiv Sena corporator Yashwant Jadhav, who had filed a petition against the approval granted by the civic body's tree authority. A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and environmental activists on issues related to the Aarey Colony in Goregaon, a major green lung of the metropolis. One of the pleas filed by the city-based NGO Vanshakti sought that Aarey is declared a forest and ecologically sensitive zone, while another petition by green activist Zoru Bathena pleaded the area be given the status of a floodplain.