Masihuzzama Ansari & Kashif Ahmed Faraz
NEW DELHI—Huge security was deployed at Singhu border between Haryana and Delhi, which is the hub of the nationwide farmers’ protest against the three farm laws. The three laws are : The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Farmers in large numbers from Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and other states had gathered in huge numbers, with leaders from different states addressing the gathering. Among them included Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar. Many speakers from Punjab and Haryana said that the government was trying to discredit the farmers’ movement by linking the agitation with Khalistan as the most visible in the protest were Sikh farmers due to their appearances. The leaders said that the government would not succeed in dividing the farming community. One of the speakers said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was able to have his way on all the issues in the past but this was not possible this time. He say that PM would have to bow t the farmers and accept their demands as farmers were not going to withdraw from the streets till their demands were met.
There was however, no major incident of violence reported from anywhere in the country. The biggest impact of the bandh was seen in Punjab, Haryana and West Bengal.
Hundreds of security personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the Delhi Police were deployed at Singhu border in view of the Bharat Bandh (nationwide shutdown) the call for which was given by Samykuta Kisan Morcha to pressurize the government to accept it’s demands for repeal of the three farm laws, withdrawal of penalty on burning of crop stubble and Electricity Bill 2020 that will make the power costly for agriculture.
Elaborate security arrangements were also made at Tikri border and at Ghazipur border between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Farmers in large numbers had gathered at Singhur, Tikri and other border points between Haryana and Delhi and at Ghazipur border between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Ghazipur border, Singhu, Tikri, Jharoda, Dansa, Auchandi, Piao Maniyari and Mangesh borders, besides NH-9 and NH-44 remained closed for traffic in view of the farmers assembling at these places in large numbers.
Several trains were also cancelled in West Bengal and Maharashtra.
Protesting workers and workers of different opposition parties that have extended support for the bandh, took to the streets by blocking rial and road traffic. In Delhi, Congress workers staged a demonstration at ITO. AAP workers blocked the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, where national headquarters of the BJP are located.
Congress workers blocked Chandigarh-Mohali Road. Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana in Maharashtra organized a ‘rail roko’ in Malkapur in Buldhana district.
In Guwahati, several protesters were detained in front of Janata Bhawan when they were protesting against the farm laws that are said to be anti-farmer and pro-corporate.
Authorities in Lucknow promulgated Section 144 to prevent staging of dharna or organizing protests by banning assembly of four or more than four persons.
Reports say there was complete bandh observed all over West Bengal.
Several roads were also blocked for traffic by protesting farmers in Andhra Pradesh.
Surprisingly, there was no impact of Bharat Bandh in Jaipur, state capital of Rajasthan having a Congress government. However, Congress-BJP workers fought with each other after stone-pelting at the state BJP office in Jaipur.
-With inputs Agencies