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Aarey protests Live Updates: Political high drama continues as felling of trees enters Day 2

Nearly 1,500 trees were chopped on Day 1 of felling as greens failed to stop officials from carrying out the high court's orders.
Aarey protests Live news updates (Photo: PTI)

As the stir continues over felling of over 2,500 trees in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony for the proposed car shed for Mumbai Metro 3, a big political row has erupted. Protests intensified on Saturday amid heavy restrictions leading to the arrests of 29 people and 38 being booked. Several leaders were also detained while protesting.

Nearly 1,500 trees were chopped on Day 1 of felling as greens failed to stop officials from carrying out the high court’s orders. Police imposed Section 144 CrPC in Aarey, restricting movements and gathering of groups, and cordoned off the area. The blockage of roads in Aarey and surrounding areas is causing difficulties for the locals and tourists.

Meanwhile, allies Shiv Sena and BJP have been at loggerheads over the issue. The opposition in Maharashtra blamed the ruling alliance for the “slaughter” of trees. Congress also slammed Shiv Sena of adopting double standards by condemning BMC tree authority’s decision to cut trees but continuing to support the BJP-led government. Political drama is heating up over the axing of trees and more reactions are pouring in.

Here are the latest updates:

8:30 am: Aaditya Thackeray hits out at government over axing of trees in Aarey

Speaking Exclusively to India Today, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray hit out at the government terming the arrests over Aarey protest as dictatorial behavior.

Aaditya Thackeray said, We want Metro. The propaganda was MMRCL is absolutely wrong. Aarey issue is not just about 2,700 trees, it’s about a complete eco system. There are some endangered species. It’s also the plain of Mithi River. If flood happens Sunday, who is to be blamed?

Unscientific methods are being followed. If you have a won court case why are you doing it in the night? Why do you have to deploy hundreds of cops to cut down 2,700 trees? You are arresting 21-year-olds. This is absolutely shameful behaviour on part of the MMRCL, he added.

Such authorities should be sent PoK to get rid of terrorists than getting rid of our ecosystem The problem is some people have taken it to their ego and are taking our government to dumps. They are trying to be politicians than behaving like officials. They will take the government to shame if this continues, he further said.

8:00 am: What happened yesterday

As the felling of trees began, a high political drama erupted with the opposition in Maharashtra blaming the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena for the “slaughter” of trees. Congress also slammed the Shiv Sena of adopting double standards by condemning the BMC tree authority’s decision to cut 2,600 trees but continuing to support the BJP-led government.

Police have also booked 38 protesters under various sections of the IPC since late Friday night after they entered the metro rail site as the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) began felling of trees. Several people, including NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad, Shiv Sena leaders Priyanka Chaturvedi and former Mayor Shubha Raul, were detained while protesting against the felling of trees. Read all that happened yesterday in 10 points here.