Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday ordered that cases registered against those who protested the Nanar refinery project be dropped. The Chief Minister had on Sunday similarly ordered withdrawal of cases against those who protested the felling of trees in Aarey colony.
Villagers from Nanar in Ratnagiri district had opposed a petrochemical refinery in the region owing to large-scale land acquisition and environmental hazards it would entail. The Shiv Sena had also opposed the project. During one such agitation in January 2018, cases were lodged against protesters.
The State government scrapped the project earlier this year as it was one of the Sena’s key demands for a pre-poll alliance with the BJP.
According to Satyajeet Chavhan of the Konkan Shakti Mahasangh, which has been part of the movement, 23 people were arrested during the protests. Of these, 20 were arrested for unlawful assembly and three others for assault. They all eventually secured bail. The cases are being heard in the Rajapur magistrate’s court.
“We are happy that Uddhav Thackeray kept his word. Had the BJP come to power with complete majority, we were worried they will try to implement the Nanar project again,” Mr. Chavhan said.