Four Aarey protesters detained and released by Mumbai Police after civil outrage
People’s pressure won in the end as the detainees were finally released after 8.30 pm.
Mumbai | Protesters fighting against the construction of a car shed in Mumbai’s Aarey gathered outside Vanrai police station in Goregaon demanding the release of four protesters held by the police earlier on Monday. People’s pressure won in the end as the detainees were finally released after 8.30 pm.
Neither the police at Vanrai police station nor the protesters could tell why the four were detained in the first place.
Protesters Lakhan Jadhav, Rohit Jadhav, Tabrez Ali Sayyed and Jayesh Bhise were detained under the guise of "preventive detention" and were supposed to be let off by 5:30 pm, said the Save Aarey Joint Action Committee in its Facebook post. However, it added that they were not released by the police until late on Monday.
Protests have begun in Aarey since the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government, in one of its first decisions after coming to power, decided to move Mumbai Metro III car shed back to Aarey.
Considering the protests against the car shed in 2019, when the car shed was first proposed to be constructed in Aarey, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray had overturned this decision by the Devendra Fadnavis government. They had proposed to shift the car shed site to Kanjurmarg.
“They did not reveal why the four were detained in the first place. Two of them were detained at around 10 am. The two others slightly after that. The first two were literally just standing around when they were taken by the police,” said actor and activist Harshad Tambe.
He said that for the last few Sundays, Article 149 is being imposed at the site of car shed, since protests against it have resumed. But Tambe claimed that the police did not produce a single document to show why exactly the protesters were held.
In another Facebook post, the Committee has claimed that the SP at the police station has “indicated that they may not be released but charged with serious offences in order to teach the movement a lesson!”
When contacted about the same, a police officer at Vanrai police station said he was unable to provide any information about these detentions and charges against which they were made as he had “just reached the police station for the night shift”.
This is not the first time that Aarey protesters are facing arrests and FIRs. In October 2019, when the fight against the car shed began, the police had arrested 29 people. In July 2021, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra withdrew the cases against the 29.