Aarey row: Section 144 imposed following protests over tree cutting
Police have booked 38 protesters under various sections of the IPC since late Friday night
The Mumbai Police imposed section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Aarey Colony and surrounding areas on Saturday, banning unlawful assembly, following strong protests by activists against the felling of trees in the green zone for a Metro car shed, an official said.
Dilip Sawant Additional commissioner of police (North) said, "To maintain the law and order situation in the area, we have detained several people from the intervening night of October 4 and 5. We have also released most of them and rest will be released soon. And to prevent activist from getting into Aarey colony we have cordoned off the area. An FIR registered under sections 332, 353, 143 and 149 of Indian Penal code."
Police have booked 38 protesters under various sections of the IPC while over 60 people protesting against the felling of trees have been detained.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi was also detained. She tweeted, "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." [sic]
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
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) started hacking trees late Friday night to make way for the car shed, hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed four pleas filed by NGOs and activists challenging the decision to allow felling of trees in the prime green lung of the city. As the MMRCL started cutting trees, hundreds of green activists held protests and tried to stop the action.
Hundreds of people gathered at the site of the proposed car shed after they were informed that trees were being axed by authorities late Friday night. However, police started dispersing the crowd and had to forcibly remove the protesters, the official said.
DCP PRO Pranay Ashok said, "The allegations made by some persons of high handedness by Mumbai Police during the Aarey bandobast are false. All due procedures and legally valid steps were taken while handling the situation yesterday. The situation currently is peaceful and due legal procedures are being followed."
Police have cordoned off the area and people are not allowed to enter the locality. Additional police personnel were called in to prevent untoward incidents.
- With inputs from PTI
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Hours after Bombay HC verdict, BMC starts cutting trees at Aarey