A group of about 50 disappointed activists from different parts of Mumbai carried out a ‘multi-faith funeral procession’ for all the trees cut by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), since the High Court lifted the stay on the cutting of trees. Originally intended to go from YB Chavan Centre at Nariman Point up to Churchgate, the procession was broken up by police at Jamshedji Tata Road.
Six activists were detained at the Marine Drive Police Station. Many others had joined the procession as it progressed.
“We detained the activists at 5 pm, under Section 68 of the Bombay Police Act (1951) (persons bound to conform to reasonable orders of police), as they were protesting. They were not charged, and we let them go after 45 minutes,” said an officer at the Marine Drive Police Station.
“This was a symbolic funeral, a silent form of protest to calm ourselves down, if not anything else. Do you need permission to hold a funeral?” asked Zoru Bhatena, one of the detained activists.
“The protest seemed to work, as officials stopped cutting a tree outside Ravindra Mansion when we passed by. There was no BMC tree officer present there,” “aid Ashwini Nagpal, another such activist. Besides cutting of trees, the activists were also protesting the manner in which they are cut and transplanted.