Clashes have been reported between Mumbai Police and protesters at the Aarey colony where Metro authorities axed more than 1,500 trees in just one day. The protests were witnessed in the area against the proposed cutting down of trees. However, the Shiv Sena openly supported the activists and blamed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for the move. The authorities imposed section 144 and blocked all the entry gates of the venue.
Aarey tree cutting: 10 things to know about protests, arrests, politics and felling of trees:
1. The Mumbai High Court dismissed all the petitions against the axing of over 2,500 trees in Aarey area. The court refused to grant a stay on the proposed metro car shed.
2. The state government declared Aarey is not a forest and metro car shed is the priority for the government which must be set up.
3. Clashes erupted in the area between Mumbai Police and environmental activists as the protesters tried to stop the axing of trees.
4. Reports said 29 people have been arrested by the police. Shiv Sena leaders including Priyanka Chaturvedi was also detained by the Mumbai Police.
5 Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray openly supported the protesters. He blamed Metro authorities for detaining and the axing of tress in the Aarey colony. He termed the police act as shameful.
6. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also backed the protesters and promised to take strict action against the responsible for axing the trees if voted to power in Mumbai assembly elections 2019.
7. Congress, however, termed the Shiv Sena’s support to the protests as a political gimmick. Mumbai Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam hit out at Shiv Sena for adopting double standards and continuing to support the BJP government in the state.
8. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar claimed the development and environment protection must go together. He supported the government’s decision for allowing Metro car shed.
9. The continuous allegations on government by Shiv Sena could prove harmful for the alliance. Both BJP and Shiv Sena have forged an alliance for the upcoming Assembly elections 2019 which are slated to be held on October 24. The counting of votes will be declared on October 24.
10. The time will tell whether Shiv Sena will get electoral benefit in the polls or BJP, on the other hand, will witness the win and claim more seats.