In a major setback to the Aarey Forest activists, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) started hacking trees on Friday (October 4) night after the Bombay High Court dismissed all petitions opposing the felling of over 2,500 trees in Aarey Colony in north Mumbai.
Activists alleged that over 200 trees had been cut in Aarey to make way for the Mumbai metro car shed. The process to raze the trees took place amid huge protests by activists, who allged that the trees were being illegally cut.
More than 20 activists have been detained and an FIR has been registered by the Mumbai Police against them after they tried to stop the authorities from cutting trees. Meanwhile, Section 144 has been imposed in Aarey area.
Aarey most important issue for me: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that Aarey is the most important issue for him right now. He also asserted the Mumbaikars saying that he would take detailed information on the issue.
Speaking to news agency ANI, he said, "Aarey is the most important issue for me right now. Whatever is happening today, whatever was happening y'day&whatever will happen in future, I'll take detailed&in-depth information of what the situation is&will speak firmly&directly on the issue."
Aarey protest: Jignesh Mevani vs Aaditya Thackeray
"Dear @AUThackeray, you said you're with #SaveAarey, then you must be with the protesters. But your government is not only cutting the trees but also assaulting women & students and also booked them under non bailable offences. Shame," tweeted Jignesh Mevani.
We are our own enemy: Karan Johar on cutting of trees
Taking to Twitter, filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted: "Massacre is what this is! We are our own worst enemy! Infrastructure can never precede nature! We need to STOP! #SaveAarey."
Bombay High Court rejects plea to stop felling of trees
In a major setback to environmental activists, the Bombay High Court on Saturday rejected their plea seeking to stay on-going felling of trees at Aarey for metro car depot.
It's a shame: Aaditya Thackeray on Aarey arrests
"These protestors can't be arrested and filed cases with. It's a shame if we do that. I call out and request @CMOMaharashtra to look into this and ask the police to not put any cases for people with love for the environment. We'd be hypocritical then at the @UN if we do this," tweeted Aaditya Thackeray on Aarey protests.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar backs tree-felling
Backing felling of trees, Union Minister of Environment Prakash Javadekar said, "Bombay High Court has ruled that it's not a forest." Javadekar went on to say that when the first Delhi metro station was to be constructed, 20-25 trees had been cut. "People protested then too, but for each tree cut, five trees were planted," the environment minister added.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi outside Samta Nagar Police station
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi outside Samta Nagar Police station. She was detained by the Mumbai police earlier on Saturday following protests in Aarey.
Activist hugs a tree at the entrance of Aarey forest
Entry into Aarey from Marol Maroshi Road restricted after Section 144 imposed in area
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi detained by Mumbai cops
Minutes after Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted saying, "On my way to #aarey and main entry points to the site have been blocked by Mumbai Police! #SaveAarey," the Shiv Sena leader was detained by the Mumbai Police.
Chaturvedi took to Twitter to say, "I have been forcibly evicted by the cops and I wasn't even breaking the law! The cops in the car won't even tell me where I am being taken ... this is insane @MumbaiPolice."
400 trees have been cut in the dead of the night, clamis actor Dia Mirza
Taking to Twitter, actress Dia Mirza wrote, "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. #Aarey #ClimateAction #ActNow #ChangeIsComing."
Section 144 imposed in Aarey Colony
Section 144 has been imposed in the area. More than 20 people have been arrested by the Mumbai Police. An FIR has also been registered by Mumbai Police against the protestors.
WATCH | Protesters opposing tree-felling gather at Aarey forest region
#WATCH: People gathered in protest at #AareyForest against the felling of trees there, earlier tonight. They were later removed from spot by police. Bombay HC has dismissed all petitions against BMC decision which allowed felling of more than 2700 trees there, for metro car shed. pic.twitter.com/saT4MaHWsq— ANI (@ANI) October 4, 2019
Activists gather at Mumbai metro car shed location
Hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed all petitions against the BMC's decision allowing the felling of more than 2,500 trees to make way for the car shed of Mumbai Metro 3, environmental activists gathered at Aarey Colony to protest against the tree-felling. Check visuals here: