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Mumbai Aarey protests: 29 people arrested, Section 144 imposed

Protestors hold placards during the protest against the BMC tree authority's approval of uprooting 2700 trees from 'Aarey Forest', in Mumbai. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI Mumbai, Maharashtra Oct 05, 2019, 02.27 PM (IST)

Twenty-nine people have been arrested since Friday night and Section 144 imposed was imposed by Mumbai Police at the Aarey Colony blocking all roads to it after protesters gathered to fight the Bombay High Court orders that allowed authorities to cut down over 2,500 trees for a Metro project.

The 29 people were arrested by Aarey police station since 11 pm last night under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for disturbing public order and obstructing government officials from performing their dutiesProtests erupted on Friday night at Aarey forest area after the Bombay High Court dismissed all petitions against the proposed cutting down of over 2,500 trees in Aarey Colony of Mumbai to make way for a Metro car shed and refused to declare the colony as a forest.

On Saturday morning, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi was also detained by the local police for trying to enter Aarey Colony, which had been cordoned off for protestors.

She was seen outside the Samta Nagar Police station where she was taken by police.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC imposed in the area near the metro-rail project site in Aarey forest.

The section is issued in urgent cases of security threats, of nuisance or apprehended danger of some event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property.

This Section prohibits public gathering. Apart from the political leader, activist Saridun Bhujwala was also picked up by the police from Goreagon Highway located near the Aaarey Colony entry point.

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 politicians across parties have condemned the move to fell the trees.

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray tweeted, "A project that should be executed with pride, the Metro 3, @MumbaiMetro3 has to do it in the cover of the night, with shame, slyness and heavy cop cover. The project supposed to get Mumbai clean air, is hacking down a forest with a leopard, rusty-spotted cat and more."

The Congress also hit out at the Centre for the cutting down of trees.

"So much for being a crusader for the environment. PM Modi`s empty rhetoric on protecting nature was just a crowd-pleaser for global audiences, back home his govt`s actions are wildly different. #AareyForest," the Congress tweeted on its official account.

 

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On Saturday morning, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi was also detained by the local police for trying to enter Aarey Colony, which had been cordoned off for protestors.