Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Freedom Farm and Forest

Maha CM orders withdrawal of FIRs against Aarey protesters

The newly appointed Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has said that he has ordered the withdrawal of FIRs made against those booked for protesting the felling of trees in the disputed Aarey Colony.

Sabrangindia 02 Dec 2019
aarey activist
Pramod Thakur/HT PHOTO 

 

FIRs to be withdrawn

This news comes three days after Thackeray ordered Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to stop work on the Mumbai Metro car shed in the Aarey region, and only four days after the CM took oath.

On October 4, 38 people were booked for protesting against the authorities’ move to cut trees immediately after the Bombay High Court dismissed a series of petitions to stop the work and give it the status of a forest.  29 protestors were arrested but granted conditional bail.

The CM has declared that no cases will be pursued against them. Media reported Thackeray saying, “Two days back, I ordered a halt on the Metro car shed in Aarey Colony. Some people had come there to protest against the tree-cutting and cases were filed against them. I have given orders to withdraw all the cases. So, there will be no cases against them.”
 

The booked protestors

The night of the felling saw a diverse bunch of people standing up for the forest. Students, housewives, adivasis had gathered at Aarey to act on the instinctual urgency of protecting the city’s green lung.

Manoj Kumar Reddy, a booked protestor relayed the story of the night of the felling to the media. More than 100 people were lathi-charged by the police, shoved into a police van and detained overnight.  Shiv Sena Corporator Sheetal Mhatre and party leader Priyanka Chaturvedi were among those detained. 

The next day, 29 of the protesters were arrested, sent to Thane jail and slapped with a variety of non-bailable criminal charges, including Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code, assault of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty.

In the Thane jail, the arrested protesters were made to were undergo all the routine procedures for jail inmates. “They cut our hair short, shaved our beards and even made us strip for a body check,” said Manan Desai, an environment blogger.

“I still have sleepless nights thinking about it,” said Swapna Swar, another accused that was arrested. She had to also stop logging on to social media because of all the trolling she has been subjected to since her arrest.

Another accused, Pramila Tai, spoke to CJP about being picked up for sitting at Birsa Munda Chowk and singing songs in protest. “They told us that if you do not listen now, we will charge at you with a stick,” she said. Tai was taken in on October 4 and only let go on October 6 at 4.30 pm.

One of the booked protesters Swapnil Pawar had said, “At the police station, they refused to answer our questions, did not allow us to make phone calls and kept saying we would be released in the morning.”

Today Pawar said to the media, “A friend just called to say that he saw on TV that the FIR will be withdrawn. I was in tears hearing this. I am extremely happy and satisfied as we are not criminals but fighting for the environment.” The accused have had to visit the police station twice a month on alternate Wednesdays.


Alternative site found?

On December 1, NCP leader Nawab Malik said that the Thackeray-led government has suggested the Goregaon RPF parade ground to be used as an alternate site for metro car shed. Malik said, "Goregaon RPF parade ground is a 102 acre land where only marriages happen. We have put forth the suggestion to construct the car shed here in the Maharashtra Assembly.”

"We have given a suggestion in Vidhan Sabha and to the Chief Minister to build a car shed in Goregaon's RPF Parade ground. Uddhavji has given assurance to discuss this in a meeting and resolve this matter," Malik reportedly said to the media.

Additionally, the Press Trust of India reported CM Thackeray saying that he has ordered a review of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train along with all other on-going development projects in the state. Maharashtra had committed to a capital expenditure of Rs 5,000 crore for the project, which is expected to cut travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to two hours. 

Before the Supreme Court stayed felling more trees to build the metro car shed in the area, around 2600 trees were cut down by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRC). The Mumbai metro body had told the court at the time that they have already cleared the land they require and will not need to cut down more trees for the project. The Supreme Court had not banned the work on the car shed.

 

Related:

Uddhav Thackeray stops tree cutting at Aarey
Understanding the Aarey issue #SaveAarey
A Tryst with Aarey: October 10, 2019
A tale of greed and cowardice: Trees cut in Aarey in the dead of the night!
Unstoppable! Mumbai's Struggle to save its lungs: Key Issues you need to know!
Aarey Adivasis seek forgiveness from felled trees
Salt pans, mangroves to go as Centre plans expansion: Mumbai's Degradation
Amnesty International’s report a damning indictment of FTs in Assam

 

 

Maha CM orders withdrawal of FIRs against Aarey protesters

The newly appointed Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has said that he has ordered the withdrawal of FIRs made against those booked for protesting the felling of trees in the disputed Aarey Colony.

aarey activist
Pramod Thakur/HT PHOTO 

 

FIRs to be withdrawn

This news comes three days after Thackeray ordered Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to stop work on the Mumbai Metro car shed in the Aarey region, and only four days after the CM took oath.

On October 4, 38 people were booked for protesting against the authorities’ move to cut trees immediately after the Bombay High Court dismissed a series of petitions to stop the work and give it the status of a forest.  29 protestors were arrested but granted conditional bail.

The CM has declared that no cases will be pursued against them. Media reported Thackeray saying, “Two days back, I ordered a halt on the Metro car shed in Aarey Colony. Some people had come there to protest against the tree-cutting and cases were filed against them. I have given orders to withdraw all the cases. So, there will be no cases against them.”
 

The booked protestors

The night of the felling saw a diverse bunch of people standing up for the forest. Students, housewives, adivasis had gathered at Aarey to act on the instinctual urgency of protecting the city’s green lung.

Manoj Kumar Reddy, a booked protestor relayed the story of the night of the felling to the media. More than 100 people were lathi-charged by the police, shoved into a police van and detained overnight.  Shiv Sena Corporator Sheetal Mhatre and party leader Priyanka Chaturvedi were among those detained. 

The next day, 29 of the protesters were arrested, sent to Thane jail and slapped with a variety of non-bailable criminal charges, including Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code, assault of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty.

In the Thane jail, the arrested protesters were made to were undergo all the routine procedures for jail inmates. “They cut our hair short, shaved our beards and even made us strip for a body check,” said Manan Desai, an environment blogger.

“I still have sleepless nights thinking about it,” said Swapna Swar, another accused that was arrested. She had to also stop logging on to social media because of all the trolling she has been subjected to since her arrest.

Another accused, Pramila Tai, spoke to CJP about being picked up for sitting at Birsa Munda Chowk and singing songs in protest. “They told us that if you do not listen now, we will charge at you with a stick,” she said. Tai was taken in on October 4 and only let go on October 6 at 4.30 pm.

One of the booked protesters Swapnil Pawar had said, “At the police station, they refused to answer our questions, did not allow us to make phone calls and kept saying we would be released in the morning.”

Today Pawar said to the media, “A friend just called to say that he saw on TV that the FIR will be withdrawn. I was in tears hearing this. I am extremely happy and satisfied as we are not criminals but fighting for the environment.” The accused have had to visit the police station twice a month on alternate Wednesdays.


Alternative site found?

On December 1, NCP leader Nawab Malik said that the Thackeray-led government has suggested the Goregaon RPF parade ground to be used as an alternate site for metro car shed. Malik said, "Goregaon RPF parade ground is a 102 acre land where only marriages happen. We have put forth the suggestion to construct the car shed here in the Maharashtra Assembly.”

"We have given a suggestion in Vidhan Sabha and to the Chief Minister to build a car shed in Goregaon's RPF Parade ground. Uddhavji has given assurance to discuss this in a meeting and resolve this matter," Malik reportedly said to the media.

Additionally, the Press Trust of India reported CM Thackeray saying that he has ordered a review of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train along with all other on-going development projects in the state. Maharashtra had committed to a capital expenditure of Rs 5,000 crore for the project, which is expected to cut travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to two hours. 

Before the Supreme Court stayed felling more trees to build the metro car shed in the area, around 2600 trees were cut down by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRC). The Mumbai metro body had told the court at the time that they have already cleared the land they require and will not need to cut down more trees for the project. The Supreme Court had not banned the work on the car shed.

 

Related:

Uddhav Thackeray stops tree cutting at Aarey
Understanding the Aarey issue #SaveAarey
A Tryst with Aarey: October 10, 2019
A tale of greed and cowardice: Trees cut in Aarey in the dead of the night!
Unstoppable! Mumbai's Struggle to save its lungs: Key Issues you need to know!
Aarey Adivasis seek forgiveness from felled trees
Salt pans, mangroves to go as Centre plans expansion: Mumbai's Degradation
Amnesty International’s report a damning indictment of FTs in Assam

 

 

Related Articles

Monday

13

Jan

Nationwide

Saturday

04

Jan

Karve Statue, Kothrud, Pune

Theme

Ambedkar

On India's 70th Constitution Day, the Subversive Sangh

Repeated attempts by the RSS-driven Sangh Parivar to appropriate Dr BR Ambedkar throw up contradictions and evasions
JNU

‘Stand by JNU!’ Solidarity Statements from across the world

A campaign launched by the university’s students and teachers challenging the intolerance of dissent
Hindutva

Hindutva and Democracy

Communalism Combat 9th Anniversary Special
HCU

#Stand with HCU

Solidarity Statements and Video Testimonies

Campaigns

Monday

13

Jan

Nationwide

Saturday

04

Jan

Karve Statue, Kothrud, Pune

Analysis

Ambedkar

On India's 70th Constitution Day, the Subversive Sangh

Repeated attempts by the RSS-driven Sangh Parivar to appropriate Dr BR Ambedkar throw up contradictions and evasions
JNU

‘Stand by JNU!’ Solidarity Statements from across the world

A campaign launched by the university’s students and teachers challenging the intolerance of dissent
Hindutva

Hindutva and Democracy

Communalism Combat 9th Anniversary Special
HCU

#Stand with HCU

Solidarity Statements and Video Testimonies

Archives