Aarey protest: 29 arrested; Sec 144 imposed

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were imposed in the area near the metro-rail project site at Aarey Colony in Goregaon East and twenty-nine activists arrested after a protest was held on Friday night against the felling of trees in the locality.

The incident took place a day after the Bombay High Court allowed axing of over 2,500 trees to facilitate the construction of a car shed of the Mumbai Metro project. The arrested activists will be produced before a local court on Saturday.

Reports said as many as 200 activists were detained and the Mumbai Police blocked roads leading to Aarey as protesters decided to intensify their fight to save Mumbai’s green belt. The Mumbai Police have also filed an FIR against 38 people, Mumbai Police Public Relations Officer Pranaya Ashok said.

Reports said 400 trees were cut in the dead of the night to avoid a face-off with the activists. But the activists, fighting under the Save Aarey banner, thronged Aarey Colony after a video showing a tree being cut illegally by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Tree Authority was widely circulated on social media. Upset citizens formed a human chain and sang as a mark of protest against the illegal cutting of trees.

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