Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Child Rights Protection Panel Seeks FIR Against Aaditya Thackeray For Using Children In 'Save Aarey' Protest

The NCPCR has asked Mumbai Police to register an FIR against Aaditya Thackeray for using minors in 'Save Aarey' protests and political campaigns. 

A photograph of a demonstration against the Aarey project shared by Aaditya Thackeray
A photograph of a demonstration against the Aarey project shared by Aaditya Thackeray Twitter/Aaditya Thackeray

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Monday sought an FIR against Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray for allegedly using childnre in his party's campaign over Aarey forest and proposed metro shed there. 

The apex child rights body NCPCR in a notice to Mumbai police said that it has received a complaint alleging that Aaditya Thackeray, President of Mumbai District Football Association, used minors in Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena, and its 'Save Aarey' protests and political campaigns. 

The NCPCR also shared a Twitter link showing children holding placards as part of the protest.

The NCPCR thereby requests you to investigate the matter urgently by lodging an FIR against the accused person(s), at once, NCPCR said to Mumbai Police.   

It added, "An Action Taken Report along with copy of FIR and statement of children may be shared with the Commission within 03 days of receipt of this letter. This issues with the approval of Chairperson, NCPCR."

The Aarey project was first floated by Devendra Fadnavis's government, which was stayed by Uddhav Thackeray when he became chief minister in 2019 over the cutting of trees in the area.

The Uddhav-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had later shifted the site from Aarey to Kanjurmarg, but it is embroiled in a legal dispute.

After becoming chief minister, Eknath Shinde asked officials to go ahead with the Aarey project, reversing Uddhav government's order. Since then, Aaditya has been vocal in opposition to the project. 

In a series of tweets, Aaditya on July 3 said that the opposition is not just about cutting of trees but also about biodiversity and sustainable living.

He said, "Aarey isn’t only about 2700+ trees, it is about it’s biodiversity that we are seeking to protect in our Mumbai. There are daily sightings of leopards and other smaller species in the carshed spot and around it. We’re proud of declaring more than 800 acres as forest around it. 

"This is about sustainable development and better planning. This is about Mumbai’s development and we staying here instead of being handed over a badly planned project that destroys our Mumbai’s Aarey Forest."

In another tweet on Sunday, Aaditya said, "Our human greed and lack of compassion cannot be allowed to destroy biodiversity in our city."

Uddhav has also been participating in ongoing protests against the project. Children can be seen in photos of demonstrations shared by Aaditya in the tweet above.

(With PTI inputs)