Farmers called for Bharat Bandh on Friday against agriculture bills passed in the Parliament earlier this week. A number of farmer organisations came together to form the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee that gave the call for Bharat bandh.
(Farmer’s Protest, Rajasthan)
Even after repeated assurances by the Union ministers including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the agricultural bills, the farmers are strongly opposing the changes these bills will bring. Farmer’s organisations say these bills will only benefit the corporate. And that is why a nationwide bandh is called.
Roads in Punjab, Haryana and Bihar were severely affected due to the protests. In many places farmers are sitting on railway tracks.
(Farmer’s Protest Gathering in Haryana)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi supported the call for Bharat bandh. He targeted the Modi Government and said that the new agricultural laws will enslave the farmers. Rahul tweeted, “A flawed GST destroyed the MSMEs. The new agricultural laws will enslave the farmers.”
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that MSP will be taken away from the farmers. They will be forced to become slaves through contract farming. There will be no money and no honour. They will become a labourer on their own farms. The BJP’s agricultural bills are like the East India Company Raj. The Congress party will not let this injustice happen.
In Delhi, there was heavy police personnel deployment around the border areas in wake of the nationwide protest called by farmers against the agricultural bills. Trade Unions, Student and women organisations protested against the Farm Bills at Jantar Mantar.
(Delhi Protest, Trade Unions joined the Farmer’s Protest at Jantar Mantar)
In Punjab the Rail Roko movement by the farmers under Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh samiti started on September 24 and will now continue till September 29. Earlier, it was scheduled till September 26. The Punjab government has already announced their opposition to the agriculture bills. The government also instructed the Administration against any coercive action.
(Image from demonstration in Punjab)
Under the leadership of Bhartiya Kisan Union and revolutionary Marxist party of India the farmers Block Amritsar Delhi National Highway near Phillaur in Jalandhar. Farmers were protesting with images of Bhagat Singh in their hands.
(Women in Punjab protesting with images of Bhagat Singh)
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that farmers are protesting against the bill because they feel that it will not benefit them. The NCP also opposes the bill. We are trying not to to implement the bills in the state.
Maharashtra Congress President and Minister Balasaheb Thorat said the party opposes the agricultural legislations passed by parliament. Maharashtra Vikas aghadi is also against it and it will not be implemented in the state.
Opposition parties protested in Bihar against the new agrarian reform bills. However, there were reports of BJP workers beating up the workers of opposition parties who were protesting against the farm bills.
(Police detaining a protester in Karnataka)
Karnataka State Farmers association protested against the agricultural bills passed in parliament near Bommanahalli on Karnataka Tamil Nadu highway. There was heavy police personnel deployment to maintain law and order and ensure the compliance with the safety norms regarding COVID-19.
The Bandh was successful in Rajasthan as well. A huge gathering was organised in Hanumangarh district.
In UP, a number of protesting farmers were detained by the police in Lucknow. Protests were held in Saharanpur and Meerut as well.
In West Bengal, members of farmer’s bodies loyal to left wing parties staged protests.
The Bharat Bandh call was supported by the Government employees unions, trade unions, railway unions, student unions, and Bank employee unions and women organisations across the country.