Twenty-nine people got bail Sunday after they were arrested for protesting against the felling of trees for a metro car shed in Mumbai’s Aarey colony.
A sessions court in Mumbai granted bail to the protesters on certain conditions including the production of personal surety of Rs 7,000 and assurance that they would not take part in protests. However, the protesters are unlikely to walk out of the Thane jail, where most of them are currently lodged, pending completion of the legal procedure and other formalities.
In 24 hours since 9 pm on Friday, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) cut as many as 2,134 trees in Aarey Milk Colony. On Saturday, the Mumbai Police arrested 29 people n charges of allegedly obstructing and assaulting police personnel on duty during protests against felling of trees at Aarey Colony.and imposed prohibitory orders in and around Aarey Colony, where protesters camped for 24 hours to prevent the felling of trees.
Advocates representing the 29 applicants, most of them students, requested the court they be granted bail as many of them have to appear for examinations beginning on Monday. They told the court that the custody of the applicants was not needed anymore since the metropolitan magistrate court in Borivali had already remanded them in judicial custody.
“Since many of the applicants are young students, the court is of the view that they can be released on certain conditions,” said one of the advocates Aditya Bambulkar.
He said the court ordered every applicant to produce and deposit a personal surety of Rs 7000 with police stations concerned where cases were registered.
“Till filing surety the applicants be released on their depositing provisional cash surety of Rs 7,000 for one month in the police stations concerned. Police have to submit the sureties in the court as the present bail application was filed before the holiday court,” stated the order.
Bambulkar said the court also directed the applicants to not indulge in any protests.
“They have been directed to attend police stations once in 15 days on Wednesdays during 6 pm-9 pm. They are also asked to cooperate with the investigating officer,” he said quoting the court order.
Prohibitory orders continued to be in force in Aarey Colony and surrounding areas for the second day. Heavy security was deployed at Aarey Colony’s five entry points, including the key connecting road near the Western Express Highway, to prevent people from going towards the area and to avoid any untoward incident, PTI reported.
Most of the shops, restaurants and roadside stalls remained closed in the area in view of the imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), banning unlawful assembly, since Saturday.
The felling began Friday night, hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed four petitions challenging the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation permission to cut 2,646 trees on 33 hectares of land at Aarey for the construction of a Metro Line 3 rake depot.
Police said between 100 and 200 protesters gathered at the Picnic Point in Aarey Colony between 8.30 pm and 11 pm Saturday after news spread that trees were being cut at the site acquired by the MMRCL.
Patrolling was stepped up in the tribal hamlets located in Aarey area and those found assembling there were being taken into custody, but later let off after proper verification, police said.
(Inputs from PTI)
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