Green activist in Vrindavan threatened with police action

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Vrindavan, March 31 (IANS) A green activist has been threatened with police action after the Vrindavan Municipality in a resolution accused him of burning trash to tarnish the elected civic body’s image.

Vrindavan Municipality executive officer Ram Asrey Kamal said on Thursday that a first information report (FIR) will be filed with police against Madhu Mangal Shukla, a petitioner at the National Green Tribunal (NGT), for burning garbage instead of “properly disposing it of”.

Shukla’s petition with the NGT highlighted how the municipality had failed to develop landfill sites and scientifically dispose of waste and garbage in the town visited by millions of Hindu pilgrims round the year.

Last week, the NGT appointed a lawyer, Rahul Khanna, as a commissioner to visit Vrindavan and verify the ground reality. Khanna visited Vrindavan three days ago and collected the evidence.

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Talking to IANS, Ram Asrey Kamal said: “He (Shukla) has been indulging in such activities for a long time. He stopped construction of a bridge over the Yamuna by going to Allahabad High Court and securing a stay. Now he is conspiring against the local body by burning garbage and taking pictures. We will file an FIR against him as directed by the municipal committee.”

“I have highlighted the truth and will present my arguments before the NGT.” Shukla told IANS.

“This same august body had honoured me on January 26, 2015, with a ‘samman patr’ for my work and now this sudden volte-face… it’s beyond my ability to comprehend. Obviously, my work is harming some people’s interests,” Shukla added.

“This is a bad precedent. The threat will not work. Encroachers in Vrindavan have acquired large chunks of flood plains and are openly dumping garbage along the banks,” green activist Shravan Kumar Singh of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society told IANS.

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