To protest against the two agriculture Bills passed by the Parliament Farmers’ unions observed a Bharat Bandh on Friday. There has been strong protests against the proposed legislations in Punjab and Haryana. As people came out Rasta Roko and Rail Roko agitations intensify through the day, Highways and railway networks have been hampered.
The nationwide protest has been called by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), All India Kisan Mahasangh (AIKM) and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU). A total of 31 farmers’ organisations have extended their support to the call of a Bharat Bandh. As many as 18 Opposition parties, including Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Left, Trinamool Congress, DMK and TRS, are extending support to the bandh.
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Bharat Bandh today: Farmers begin agitation against agriculture Bills
Ten central trade unions, including All India Trade Union Congress, National Trades Union Congress, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, All India United Trade Union Centre and Trade Union Coordination Centre, are also expected join the agitation.
The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) has called for a ‘Rail Roko’, while Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has appealed to farmers to maintain law and order and adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. No FIR will be registered for the violation of Section 144 during the protest, he added. Shiromani Akali Dal, whose senior leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Cabinet Minister’ position over the Bills, has also announced a ‘Chakka Jam’ for three hours across Punjab.
Fourteen special passenger trains running from the railways’ Ferozepur division have been cancelled from 24 to 26 September. The trains that were suspended include Golden Temple Mail (Amritsar-Mumbai Central), Jan Shatabdi Express (Haridwar-Amritsar), New Delhi-Jammu Tawi, Sachkhand Express (Nanded-Amritsar), and Shaheed Express (Amritsar-Jaynagar).
BKU has given a call in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to block highways, while farmers’ unions have given a call to hold protests at Delhi-NCR borders. It has given a call for a state-wide chakka jam (road blockade) in UP on Friday. “We have asked workers and farmers to organise a chakka jam in all the districts between 11am and 2pm,” BKU state president Rajveer Singh Jadaun said, according to Hindustan Times. Director general of Uttar Pradesh Police HC Awasthy said he had alerted the police department in all districts about the protests. He said the UP police were making necessary arrangements.
Farmer groups in Haryana too have urged residents to observe a bandh from 10 am to 4 pm, but National Highways have been exempted from the bandh call, The Indian Express reported.