A Marol woman was threatened by an Aarey ‘activist’ from NGO Vanashakti for writing a Facebook post that supported the Mumbai Metro Construction project. Vanashakti NGO is one of the petitioners in the ongoing Aarey hearing in the High Court, where ‘activists’ want Aarey land to be declared as a forest and to essentially, stall the metro construction project.
According to a report in DNA, Punita (who has requested that further information about her not be published) was threatened with ‘dire consequences’ if she did not take down her Facebook post supporting the construction of Mumbai Metro. Ultimately, Punita succumbed to the pressure and took the Facebook post down.
Punita has accused D Stalin of Vanashakti NGO of threatening her over the post which was later removed by her.
According to the DNA report, the girl who has been intimidated to take her post down has said, “When he [Stalin] read the post, he called me and threatened me. He also asked me to delete the post which later I did.” However, the ordeal didn’t end for Punita. “Despite talking to me and threatening me, he called one of my friends who is also an activist. In return, my friend called my family and told them that they could get into deep trouble. Your daughter shouldn’t have done that what she did, said the friend”.
The Marol resident has filed a complaint with MIDC police in Andheri and the police have confirmed that there was nothing defamatory in the Facebook post for which she was threatened and they will be looking into the matter.
NGO Vanashakti is opposed to the proposed car shed at Aarey Colony for the Colaba–Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 line, Metros are generally considered the most efficient mode of the mass-transit system and the government rightly says that it will cut down pollution in future. However, the ‘activists’ are not happy.
The campaign against the Metro project has been ridden with several lies and inaccuracies. it has almost become the professional demand of certain NGOs to stall development work by citing ‘environmental reasons’. Recently, Mumbai High Court imposed a fine of rupees one lakh on an NGO for filing a frivolous petition to stall development project in Navi Mumbai. The court noted that the PIL filed by Abhivyakti, the NGO, was motivated to somehow stall development work in Navi Mumbai.
Going by all the arguments, the court concluded that the initial claim of the petitioner that the wetland was created due to it being connected to Panvel creek was factually incorrect. After that, they had claimed that it was a pond created by rainwater, which was also proved false as water accumulated only during monsoon season. The court also noted that the land was privately owned which was acquired by the government for development. The court also notes that no pond was detected in satellite mapping done by ISRO.
As a result, the court concluded that the petition was filed to stop development in Navi Mumbai. The court said that the petitioners had used Google images of the area obtained during monsoon to raise the boogie of the environment being damaged.