Agitated farmers, who are protesting at Delhi's borders for the past 12 days against the recently enacted three contentious farm laws, have announced 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8, Tuesday. Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, have planned to block all roads leading to Delhi if the government does not scrap the three laws.
The three laws against which farmers are protesting in the national capital are--Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The farmer community has expressed apprehension that the new laws are "anti-farmer", and would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.
However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.
So far, five rounds of the meetings have happened between the Centre and the farmers' unions. However, the farmers said that the government has not made any "constructive proposals", and are demanding a "yes or no" on withdrawal of the laws. The next round of talks between the government and the protesting farmers is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
Here's all you need to know about Bharat Bandh:
1. Timings: Bharat Bandh will start tomorrow from 11 am to 3 pm. Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, "Services such as ambulance, even weddings, can go on as usual. People can show their card and leave". Farmers urged people to extend their support non-violently and said their protest "was symbolic" and not meant to "cause problems for the common man".
2. Supply truck movement could be hit in north India, including Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, and Kashmir, as at least 51 trade and transport unions have shown their support for farmers.
3. Members of farmers' unions will block national highways and occupy toll plazas, said Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union.
4. Altogether 14 opposition parties including Shiv Sena, the Congress, the DMK, Kamal Haasan's MNM, the RJD, the Samajwadi Party, the NCP, the Aam Aadmi Party, the newly-minted People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration in J&K, and a collection of Left outfits - have also extended their support and said they would organise demonstrations across cities tomorrow.
5. Bharat Bandh might likely impact the fruit and vegetables' supplies in Mumbai as operations at APMC market in Vashi, Navi Mumbai including supplies of perishables will remain closed tomorrow in support of farmers.
6. Delhi Police and Delhi traffic police has made proper arrangements ahead of tomorrow's Bharat Bandh. Eish Singhal, Delhi Police PRO told ANI news agency, "We are trying to ensure that the lives of the common people are not affected. If someone tries to shut down shops forcefully or block roads, legal action will be taken".