29 protesters arrested in Mumbai’s Aarey, Congress accuses PM Modi of empty rhetoric on environment
Police said that there were around 100 to 200 people protesting and some of them scuffled with them following which 29 were arrested. Six of the arrested are women.Updated: Oct 05, 2019 13:21 IST
The Mumbai police said on Saturday that they have arrested 29 people near Aarey colony who were protesting the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation’s (MMRC) tree felling operation to build a car shed.
In a press statement, the police said that there were around 100 to 200 people protesting and some of them got into a scuffle with police officials and assaulted them, following which 29 were arrested. Six of the arrested are women.
Police said the arrested people will be produced in a local court. An unspecified number of activists have been forcefully evacuated from Aarey check post and taken to local police station at Goregaon.
Watch | Activists vs authorities at Aarey, prohibitory orders imposed
Earlier in the day the police set up check post to stop protesters from heading towards Aarey Colony while the administration clamped prohibitory orders around Aarey.
Shiv Sena youth leader Aaditya Thackeray tweeted a few times on Saturday against the chopping of trees and condemned the arrest of protesters and wanted to know who authorized the those actions when the model code of conduct is in force for the upcoming assembly elections in Mahartashtra.
The use of a large number of police personnel. Hacking trees in the dead of the night, even after winning in court (then why not broad day light) and detention of peaceful protesters and citizens. Who is authorising this? During Code of Conduct? All these powers handed to MMRC? https://t.co/SGv5yySfXn— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 5, 2019
The tree cutting operation also drew a sharp response from the Congress which accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of double standards on the environment.
“So much for being a crusader for the environment. PM Modi’s empty rhetoric on protecting nature was just a crowd pleaser for global audiences, back home his govt’s actions are wildly different,” the party tweeted.
So much for being a crusader for the environment. PM Modi's empty rhetoric on protecting nature was just a crowd pleaser for global audiences, back home his govt's actions are wildly different. #AareyForest https://t.co/Jnlu3MbQTZ— Congress (@INCIndia) October 5, 2019
The MMRC resumed felling trees at Aarey Colony with the help of Mumbai police from 3.15 am Saturday. The operation had begun Friday night, hours after the Bombay high court dismissed all petitions against the move. A group of protesters had stormed the site after 200 trees had been felled, forcing MMRC workers to flee before the police intervened and detained a few protesters.