The Maharashtra cabinet has now decided to withdraw the cases and charges against protestors in the Aarey protests last year. The protests were carried out in October 2019 to oppose the government's plans to build a Metro car shed by cutting down trees on the Aarey colony land.
The protests landed many activists and students with charges against them under various sections of the IPC.
Maharashtra cabinet withdraws cases against Aarey protestors
On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government made the announcement that it would be withdrawing the cases it had registered against protestors in the Aarey protests in 2019. The State Minister for Tourism and Environment Aditya Thackeray had announced the same on Wednesday evening.
The Aarey protests were conducted under the BJP government's rule in Maharashtra in 2019. Activists and students came together to protect the Aarey Colony land where the government had planned to build a metro car shed by felling trees on the 30 hectares of land.
Speaking about the move, Aditya Thackeray said, "I raised the issue of cases on those who protested against the tree hacking in Aarey last year, in cabinet meeting today. I was backed by Ministers@Awhadspeaksji & @AslamShaikh_MLAji. The cabinet has decided to withdraw these cases. I thank CM sir, DCM sir, HM sir for support."
He further said, "These were citizens/ protestors standing for the future of our planet. To hold them from stopping desired work was one thing but to press police charges was another. We can't have cases against those who stand up for environment and forests."
He thanked his colleagues and ministers for supporting his stand, "I thank all the cabinet colleagues of the MVA Government for prioritising and realising the importance of sustainable development and green governance and supporting such issues."
When Uddhav Thackeray came into power as the CM from the Shiv Sena party he had stayed the construction metro car rail shed. But, the issue is far more complex than a couple of cases, due to the cases against the protestors, it posed hurdles to their careers and futures.