Two days after he passed a stay order on the construction of the metro carshed in Aarey Colony, newly-appointed Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Sunday ordered the cases registered against environmentalists who were protesting the felling of trees in Aarey be dropped.
“I have ordered to take back the cases filed against many environmentalists, during the agitation against Aarey metro car shed,” Thackeray said.
I had given orders to stop the metro car shed work in Aarey. When the tress were cut in the middle of the night, Mumbaikars agitated against the decision. They were detained & charged.I have given orders to take back all the charges filed against them.
–@CMOMaharashtra #Aarey pic.twitter.com/OXL9gIsUpd
— Office of Uddhav Thackeray (@OfficeofUT) December 1, 2019
The withdrawal of cases come more than a month after 29 protesters demanded the withdrawal of the charges against them. They were charged under Sections 353 and 332, relating to obstructing public officials from discharging their duties.
Alleging that police had assaulted them and not the other way round as mentioned in the FIR, the agitators then had criticised the Mumbai Police for treating environment lovers like “hardcore criminals”.
The 29 protesters were arrested on October 8 under non-bailable sections and they were jailed overnight at Thane and Byculla prisons, which had evoked widespread surprise regarding the manner in which police dealt with civic protests.
Protests erupted in the green lung of Mumbai city after Bombay High Court on October 4 allowed MMRCL to cut trees for the construction of the car shed and depot for the Mumbai metro. Nearly 2,141 trees were felled overnight following the High Court orders which had brought the environmental activists to the streets, until Supreme Court passed a restraining order against cutting more trees.