New Delhi: A 12-hour “Bharat Bandh” called by farmer unions protesting against three new farm laws of the Centre was observed on Friday.
The farmers protesting against the three newly enacted agriculture reform laws, commenced the nationwide protest by blocking key roads and national highways in north India.
The Bandh’s call was given by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of farmers’ agitation, to mark the completion of four months of farmers’ struggle at Delhi. The bandh was observed from 6 am to 6 pm.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha in a statement said ‘Today, the bandh was observed in many parts of the country. In more than 20 districts in Bihar, more than 200 places in Punjab and also in Haryana, people made the bandh a big success. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as well, the impact of the bandh was impressive. Started against three anti-farmer central farm laws and for the legal guarantee of MSP, the historic agitation of farmers on the borders of Delhi has crossed 4 months. Sustaining such a long movement is not only a matter of patience and hard work of the farmers, it is also a shame for the government. Despite extreme weather conditions, farmers stayed resolute, and continue to be in high spirits.’
‘News related to Bharat Bandh started pouring in from all over the country since morning. The impact of the Bharat Bandh was seen on a large scale in Bihar. The Bandh was observed in Patna, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Buxar, Gaya, Nawada, Sheikhpura, Nalanda, Purnia, Begusarai, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Siwan, Vaishali Samastipur, Sitamadi, Jehanabad, Arwal, Aurangabad, Jamui, West Champaran and other places. In Uttar Pradesh, roads and markets were closed at many places including Aligarh, Shamli, Moradabad, Etawah and Sambhal. Farmers’ organizations in Kurnool and Vijayawada made this bandh a success. The impact of the Bharat Bandh was seen in Telangana at dozens of places including Warangal, Hanmakonda and Mehboobabad,’ it said
‘Farmers staged demonstrations in Mysore, Gulbarga, Mandya, Bellari and Bangalore in Karnataka. Copies of three agricultural laws were also burnt in Mysore in a funeral procession taken out for the three laws. Farmers in Odisha’s Kendrapada and Bhadrak and elsewhere supported the Bharat Bandh. In Maharashtra too, the farmers contributed to the Bharat Bandh and in Palghar and Jalgaon the farmers kept the road blocked,’ the statement said.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha said farmers blocked roads at Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Kesari Singhpur, Anupgarh, Padampur, NH 62 and other places in Rajasthan. Farmers organised program in Udham Singh Nagar of Uttrakhand on Bandh.
‘In Ranchi and other districts of Jharkhand, farmers groups blocked various roads. There are reports of successful Bharat Bandh from almost every district in Haryana. Markets and other services in cities like Kurukshetra, Karnal, Sonipat, Yamunanagar, Ambala etc. remained suspended. In Punjab, Bharat Bandh programs were held in more than 200 places including Mansa, Amritsar, Moga, Ferozepur, Jalandhar,’ it said.
The Morcha acknowledged the support extended by many political parties, bar associations, trade unions, student organizations, democratic organizations, aadti associations, small traders, organizations fighting for social justice, social and religious organizations and conscious citizens.