Several arrested, section 144 imposed in Mumbai’s Aarey following protests

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Several activists were arrested and section 144 has been imposed at Aarey Colony and surrounding areas on Saturday by police as protesters fight against cutting trees in Mumbai’s green zone, where a car shed for Metro will be built.

Police have booked many protesters under various sections of the IPC since Friday night.

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi was also detained by the police earlier today following protests in Aarey area.

She said, “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.”

On Friday, the Bombay High Court cancelled four petitions challenging cutting of trees at Aarey Colony for the metro car shed.

As the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) started cutting trees, several activists held protests and tried to stop the action.

Aditya Thackeray condemned the tree felling taken up since late Friday night. He also questioned why cutting of trees was not done in broad daylight even after the Mumbai Metro got the Bombay High Court’s nod.

“The use of a large number of police personnel. Hacking trees in the dead of the night, even after winning in court (then why not broad day light) and detention of peaceful protesters and citizens. Who is authorising this? During Code of Conduct? All these powers handed to MMRC?” Aditya tweeted.

Many Bollywood Celebrities voiced their anger on social media after authorities began cutting down trees at Mumbai’s Aarey Colony for a metro car shed.

Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan in a tweet said, “This is heartbreaking news. With such an outcry to stop the cutting of trees why is this being allowed mumbai has done enough for the people in power to realise cutting down aarey is something the citizens don’t want.”

Farhan Akhtar said, “Cutting trees at night is a pathetic attempt at trying to get away with something even those doing it know is wrong.”

Dia Mirza in a tweet said, “400 trees have been cut in the dead of the night. As citizens sang and joined hands in unity pleading to STOP this massacre. Can’t you see they are UNITED by love!?! Love for nature. Love for our children and our future.”

Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director Ashwini Bhide said, “A new false propaganda is in the air that 15 days notice is required after tree authority order getting uploaded on website. This is absolutely baseless. Tree Authority order is issued on 13th Sept 19. 15 days r over on 28th Sept. Action awaited till Hon HC verdict was out.”

“Hon. Bombay HC has dismissed all petitions in unequivocally clear terms 2de. But sm people consider themselves superior 2 Judiciery as well. While their own actions r illegal they city foul. If you lose a battle in court, better to accept it honourably than to take it to street,” Bhide tweeted.