Aarey chaos: Did authorities clamp down on internet services?

Published on Oct 07, 2019 12:23 AM IST
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ByYesha Kotak, Mumbai

Citizens and activists have alleged that authorities clamped down on internet services in and around Aarey Colony to prevent the movement against the hacking of 2,646 trees from gaining momentum.

Ravi Pandurang Jadhav, a resident of Marol, who was present at the protest site on Friday, said he had to move out of the area every time he wanted to send out photos or videos of what was happening. Other activists and tribals from Aarey also corroborated the allegations.

“Over the past few days, network had been suspended so that the outside world doesn’t learn about what is happening at Aarey,” said Jadhav.However, DCP Pranay Ashok, spokesperson for Mumbai police, denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, protests continued across the city. Members of the group Extinction Rebellion – who took out a rally on climate change at Bandra Reclamation on Sunday morning – said they were told by police to not mention Aarey as part of their protest. The police also allegedly cracked down on another citizen-led protest at Bandstand in the evening, telling activists to put away their banners.

“It is not only about the Metro car shed. There are various other development projects which are going to come up at Aarey. If 100 people can be detained for this, it is high time that we raise our voices,” said Mitali Bhasin, organiser of the Bandstand protest.

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