Guwahati: Protests against the three contentious farm bills intensifies as several farmer bodies called for a nationwide shutdown or ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Friday. The national outcry or ‘Bharat Bandh’ has been called by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), All India Kisan Mahasangh (AIKM) and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) against the farm bills.
According to media reports, protesting farmer organisations have blocked the Delhi-Amritsar highway, and huge traffic jams have also been reported from the Ayodhya-Lucknow highway.
Farmers have been extended support from the ruling Congress party in Punjab along with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) who’s an ally to the ruling NDA at the centre. Punjab had already begun a three-day rail blockade by demonstrating on the tracks at many places from Thursday.
In Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leads the protests against the bills. Party leader Tejaswi Yadav is seen driving a tractor to participate in the nationwide resentment against new which affects farmers throughout India. “The government has made our ‘anndata’ a puppet through its ‘fund data’. The farm bills are anti-farmer and have left them dejected. The government had said that they’ll double farmers’ income by 2022 but these bills will make them poorer. The agriculture sector has been corporatised,” Tejashwi Yadav said.
Party workers of RJD are also seen riding buffaloes on the streets of Bihar’s Darbhanga as part of the protest.
In Karnataka protests are have been reported near Bommanahali where members of Karnataka State Farmers’ Association have blocked the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu highway. Police personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order and to ensure COVID protocol is maintained during the protest.
All India Farmers Union (AIFU), Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), All India Kisan Mahasangh (AIKM), and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) have called for a nationwide bandh. Farmers’ bodies from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have also announced for a shutdown.
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 have also extended their support.
Fourteen special passenger trains running from the railways’ Ferozepur division are to remain cancelled till September 26 in view of the farmer associations’ three-day ‘rail roko’ protest. The suspended trains 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).
Many farmers organizations are also planning to go for an indefinite rail blockage from October 1.
A total of 18 parties,including AAP, Congress, the Left parties, Nationalist Congress Party, DMK, SP, Trinamool Congress, RJD, have exhorted the President to not sign the bills.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has pleaded to the farmers to maintain law and order and to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols. The CM has declared that no FIR will be registered for the violation of Section 144 during the protest.
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