Protests In Aarey Against Tree-cutting; Activists Say 200 Trees Felled

City News

Protestors continued their agitation against the metro shed on Friday night even after the High Court dismissed the petitions against the felling of trees

Written By Devarshi mankad | Mumbai | Updated On:

Protests in Aarey colony broke out after the authorities from Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) allegedly started cutting trees in the area following Bombay High Court's dimissmal of all petitions challenging the felling of trees. Of over 2,600 trees which are to be felled, 200 had been cut by Friday night, activists alleged. Videos of tree-felling went viral on social media, though it could not be confirmed from Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation officials if indeed tree cutting for the planned metro car shed in Aarey had begun. The protest was supported by members of Aam Aadmi Party as well as Shiv Sena scion Aaditya Thackeray who criticised the alleged move in a series of tweet.

READ | Bombay HC junks pleas seeking forest tag for the Aarey colony

Protests continue even after HC judgement

In videos that have gone viral on the internet, it can be seen trees were being chopped down on Friday evening. As seen in the videos, there was police presence at the site of the tree-felling and the protestors were prevented from entering the barricaded area where the felling of trees was going on. Shiv Sena's candidate from Worli for the Maharashtra assembly polls Aaditya Thackeray who had voiced his opinion against the felling of trees at the Aarey colony condemned the actions of the municipal authorities in a series of tweets.

The police had tried to contain the agitated protestors, but could not hold them for long and the protestors broke the police chain and brushed aside the police barricade to enter the area. Chanting slogans against the tree-felling, they entered the site in hordes. The protestors had gathered in large numbers and were later spotted on the road near the area, blocking traffic. The protestors were later moved away from the area by the Mumbai police.

READ | Aarey Can't Get Forest Tag Just Because It Has Greenery: Maha Govt

Bombay HC dismisses petitions

The Bombay High Court, on Friday, refused to declare Aarey colony a forest and also decline all four petitions against the felling of trees and 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. The issue has reached all the way to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, after Thackeray had criticized his government for allowing the trees to be cut. Fadnavis, reacted to his ally's Worli candidate's stance on the issue saying that the Thackeray's intentions were noble, but he wasn't aware of the hidden intentions of those who are wanting to prevent the felling of trees. 

READ | Shiv Sena's Aaditya Thackeray takes up Aarey matter, calls out MMRCL

READ | CM Devendra Fadnavis, Aaditya Thackeray spar over Aarey protests

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