Peace and quiet returns to Aarey after lifting of Section 144

Workers remove chopped trees from Aarey after the Supreme Court paused further felling of trees in the area, on Monday.

Workers remove chopped trees from Aarey after the Supreme Court paused further felling of trees in the area, on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate


Entry points to colony no longer barricaded, Metro officials halt tree cutting work, vehicular movement resumes, routes of BEST buses restored.

Normalcy returned to Aarey colony after the Mumbai Police lifted prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code on Tuesday morning.

The prohibitory orders banning unlawful assembly in the area were imposed on Saturday after residents and activists held protests on Friday evening over the cutting of over 2,100 trees for the construction of a car shed for the Metro 3 project and demanded the relocation of the proposed car shed.

Police personnel were deployed in large numbers at the construction site though no tree cutting work was undertaken on Tuesday. The entry points to Aarey colony were no longer barricaded and several felled trees were seen stacked on the site. Movement of traffic was allowed and the original routes of several Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport buses, which had been diverted on Saturday, were restored.

The Supreme Court on Monday had directed that status quo be maintained at the site until the next hearing on October 21 after a special Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan convened urgently and exclusively to hear the matter. The apex court had taken suo motu cognisance of a letter written by law student Rishav Ranjan to the Chief Justice of India to take action over the cutting of trees in Aarey colony.

Following the court order, 24 protesters lodged in the Thane Central Jail were released on Monday. Five women protesters, who were lodged in the Byculla jail, were also set free.

On Sunday, a court had ordered the release of the protesters on certain conditions, including production of personal surety of ₹7,000 and assurance that they would not take part in protests.

However, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) has already cut 2,141 of the 2,185 trees that have to be cleared over a 30-hectare plot to construct the Metro car shed. MMRCL had received permission from the Tree Authority of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to the cut the trees.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 11:30:02 PM |

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