The Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office announced on September 30 that CM Uddhav Thackeray had directed the state's Home Department to start the procedure to withdraw charges against all those who protested against the felling of trees in Aarey Colony last year.Twenty-nine persons had been arrested on October 5, 2019, following clashes between Mumbai Police and protesters who wanted to stop the felling of trees in Aarey Colony to build a metro car shed.
CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has directed the Home Department to immediately start the procedure to withdraw charges against citizens who had protested against felling of trees for the construction of the proposed Metro car-shed at #Aarey last year.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) September 30, 2020
The directive comes following a request made by Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray at the state cabinet meeting held on September 30. His request was backed by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar among other members.The Aarey forest is located adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and has five lakh trees. However, more than 2,500 trees were to be felled to make space for the Mumbai Metro-3 project. The Supreme Court had, on December 16, 2019, extended its interim order staying the felling of trees in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony for setting up of a metro car shed.