Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai's Aarey Colony

Last Updated 08 October 2019, 14:30 IST

The prohibitory orders imposed in Aarey Colony in suburban Goregaon in view of protests over cutting of trees for a metro car shed were lifted on Tuesday, police said.

Normalcy has returned to the area where movement of people and transport has resumed.

The police had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on Saturday, banning unlawful assembly in the area, following protests by activists against the felling of trees in the green zone.

The protesters were demanding the relocation of the car shed, which is a part of the Metro 3 project.

The tree cutting by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) started hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed petitions seeking forest tag for the Aarey Colony and a stay on the civic body's permission to clear the area of vegetation to set up the depot.

Mumbai Police spokesperson Pranay Ashok told PTI, "Today we have lifted Section 144 in Aarey Colony; now everything is normal in the area."

A local resident, Shyam Bhoir, said, "Everything is now normal in the locality but police personnel have been deployed in large numbers at the spot where the car shed is going to be built."

"After Section 144 was lifted in the morning, people moved around without any hindrance."

On Sunday, a court ordered the release of protesters, taken in custody during the stir, on certain conditions, including production of personal surety of Rs 7,000 and assurance that they would not take part in protests.

Following the court order, 24 protesters lodged in the Thane Central Jail were released in the wee hours of Monday.

Beside, five women protesters, who were lodged in the Byculla Jail here, were also set free.

The arrests were made on Friday and Saturday after clashes broke out between the police and green activists opposing axing of trees by MMRCL in the Aarey Colony.

In a related development, the Supreme Court on Monday restrained authorities from cutting anymore trees in the area, considered Mumbai's 'green lung'.

A special bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan had said it will examine the entire matter and posted it for hearing on October 21 before its forest bench.

The Maharashtra government had said whatever was required to be cut in the colony has already been done.

(Published 08 October 2019, 12:03 IST)

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