NCPCR seeks FIR against Sena's Aaditya Thackeray over using minors in 'Save Aarey' protest
In the notice to Mumbai police, NCPCR stated that it had received a complaint alleging that Aaditya Thackeray used minors in Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena, and its political initiatives and 'Save Aarey' demonstrations.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) filed an FIR on Monday against Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray for allegedly using children in his party's campaign to save the Aarey forest. In the notice to Mumbai police, NCPCR stated that it had 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 political initiatives and 'Save Aarey' demonstrations.
It also shared a Twitter link to a protest video of children holding placards.
The Commission has requested to launch an immediate investigation by filing a police report (FIR) against the accused person(s), according to NCPCR. It added that within three days of receiving this letter, an Action Taken Report, a copy of the FIR, and a statement of the children might be shared with the Commission. The NCPCR Chairperson has approved this matter.
Aaditya Thackeray participated in a demonstration on Sunday and posted images of kids holding signs.
The new government, led by Eknath Shinde, has announced that the Aarey project will be restarted. Aaditya Thackeray has been attending and leading protests since then.
The issue arose in 2019 when the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation requested permission from the municipal corporation to fell trees at Aarey Colony in the 1,800-acre forested area. Environmental activists led massive protests.
Even as a partner in the BJP's 2014-19 government, the Shiv Sena opposed the plan. However, then-BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stated that the area designated for the shed was not classified as biodiversity or forest land. He reasoned that the metro rail service would already reduce pollution.
However, after forming a Shiv Sena-led government with Congress and the NCP in 2019, Uddhav Thackeray announced that the shed would be relocated to Kanjurmarg. Aarey was also designated as a protected forest by the government.
In 2020, the BJP-led central government went to the Bombay High Court, claiming that the land belonged to the Salt Department. The Aarey project was then suspended by the High Court.
That was before the BJP reclaimed power in Maharashtra last month when the state government decided to revert the proposed shed to Aarey, overruling Uddhav Thackeray's decisions.