Aarey Protest: High Political Drama As Thousands Of Trees Axed In One Day, 29 People Arrested; 10 Points
The BJP and the Shiv Sena - alliance partners at both the centre and the state of Maharashtra - seem to have locked horns over the proposed metro shed in Aarey forest area.
The site also saw heavy police deployment who started dispersing the crowd and had to forcibly remove the protesters. When the situation worsened, police started taking protesters into custody. As many as 29 people have been arrested since yesterday night and section 144 was imposed by Mumbai Police.
This happened hours after the Bombay High Court on Friday afternoon rejected petitions that challenged tree felling in Aarey colony to make way for the construction of a metro car shed. Bulldozers arrived in Aarey and trees began to be cut under the cover of darkness.
Here, take a look at the high political drama that took place over Aarey forest row-
1) Among the first to react to the news was Aaditya Thackeray. The 27-year-old son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and leader of the party’s youth wing, described the tree felling in Aarey as “shameful and disgusting”. He took to Twitter and said, “How about posting these officials in PoK [Pakistan occupied Kashmir], giving them charge to destroy terror camps rather than trees?”
— shunali khullar shroff (@shunalishroff) October 4, 2019
2) Aaditya Thackeray asked Mumbai Metro to listen to sensible demands of sustainable development."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," he tweeted. "The ShivSena's sheetalmhatre1 ji & Shubha Raul ji at Aarey. Even Prabhu Suneel ji has been standing up for it with the citizens. Wonder why MumbaiMetro3 is treating Mumbaikars like criminals and not listening to sensible demand of sustainable development," Thackeray said in another tweet.
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
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
3) Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that he will deal with the "murderers of Aarey forest in the best possible way" after forming the government again in Maharashtra. "Aarey is the most important issue for me right now. Whatever is happening today, whatever was happening yesterday and whatever will happen in future, I will take detailed and in-depth information of what the situation is and will speak firmly and directly on the issue," Thackeray told media. "The upcoming government will be our government and once our government comes into power once again, we will deal with the murderers of Aarey forest in the best possible way we can," he added.
4) Attacking Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for backing the metro shed, Shiv Sena senior leader and Rajya Sabha lawmaker Sanjay Raut on Saturday morning posted a cartoon in which the BJP leader is blindfolding Lady Justice with a strip of cloth which reads, "Arey not a forest."
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) October 5, 2019
5) Earlier, Fadnavis had said that the government is bound to cut trees in Mumbai's Aarey forest as "development is important". "We do not wish to cut even a single tree in Aarey, but the development is also important. We will plant more trees in place of those cut. I will personally speak to Aditya Thackeray about this," he said.
6) Meanwhile, during her protest in the area near the metro-rail project site in Aarey forest, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi has also been detained by Mumbai Police."On my way to #aarey and main entry points to the site have been blocked by Mumbai Police! #SaveAarey," she tweeted. "I have been forcibly evicted by the cops and I wasn't even breaking the law! The cops in the car wont even tell me where I am being taken ... this is insane @MumbaiPolice," Chaturvedi said in a second tweet.
I have been forcibly evicted by the cops and I wasn’t even breaking the law! The cops in the car wont even tell me where I am being taken ... this is insane @MumbaiPolice
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) October 5, 2019
7) Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday urged the government to immediately stop cutting trees in the Aarey colony outlining that it will destroy future generations of the city. Speaking to reporters, Nirupam said, "I request the government to stop the cutting of trees. It will destroy future generations of Mumbai."
8) Nirupam also condemned the detention of activists who were protesting against the cutting of trees in the Aarey colony and said, "I know whole Mumbai is against the cutting for trees in Arrey. The high court gave a go-ahead for cutting of trees and then what was the need to cut the tress overnight. I condemn this and the way activists were beaten and detained." "We are not against the metro but I want to know that if the car shed is made in Arrey then it will destroy Arrey and will also affect the environment in Mumbai", he added.
9) The issue has taken a political hue in the run-up to assembly polls, with the Opposition parties blaming ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena for their "failure" in saving trees.
10) Leaders from various political parties, including the Congress, have condemned the move to fell the trees.
Also Watch | 29 arrested, section 144 imposed in Mumbai's Aarey amid protest over cutting trees
As many as 29 people have been arrested since yesterday. Section 144 was also imposed by Mumbai Police at Aarey Colony after scores of people gathered to protest against the order of the Bombay High Court allowing the cutting down of over 2,500 trees to make way for the construction of a car shed of the metro station.
(with inputs from agencies)
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