Commercial operations and traffic movements across several locations are likely to be affected today as the Samkyukta Kisan Morcha has called for a Bharat Bandh today. The Bharat Bandh has been called today to mark the ten months of farmers' protest against the three farm laws passed by the Centre. Farmers from several parts of the country, especially western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana have been protesting at the border points of Delhi since November 2020. The protesting farmers are seeking a repeal of the farm laws – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 passed by the Parliament in September 2020.
1. Traffic movement has been affected to and from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur border due to the Bharat Bandh called by the farmers’ organisations against the three farm laws. Besides this, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has closed the entry and exit gates at the Pandit Shree Ram Sharma metro station.
2. Farmers, farm labourers, commission agents, activists of political parties and trade and employee unions have blocked major highways including National Highway 1 linking Delhi with parts of Punjab and Haryana and Delhi-Amritsar National Highway.
3. This Bandh will be held from 6 am to 4pm. Transport services and markets are likely to remain shut. “This would include all government and private offices, all educational and other institutions, all shops, industries and commercial establishments, all public events and functions. Public and private transport will also come to a halt during this period,” Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said.
4. The SKM and Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) stated that emergency establishments and essential services like hospitals, pharmacy shops, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies will be exempt.
5. Delhi Police has intensified patrolling and deployed extra personnel at the border areas in the wake of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call by farmer unions to protest against the three farm laws. Every vehicle entering the national capital is being thoroughly checked.
6. Traders and industrialists will not observe this "senseless and anti-development" Bharat Bandh, according to the Bhartiya Udyog Vyapaar Mandal. National President of Bhartiya Udyog Vyapaar Mandal Ravi Kant Garg said that more than 20 crore traders, industrialists, small industrialists of MSME sector, shopkeepers and various types of roadside vendors have nothing to do with bandh. "The bandh call by a handful of so-called farmers has been virtually sponsored by the opposition parties from the back door for their political gain and is anti-development and senseless besides being against the interest of traders," Garg said.
7. The BJP Kisan Morcha said that the SKM’s “dream of Bharat Bandh” will not come true and their misunderstanding will be cleared. BJP’s farmer wing further said that the SKM is doing this due to the upcoming Assembly elections in several states. “The farmer of the country is with BJP, is with PM Modi ji and wants to see India moving forward. It does not want Bharat Bandh. Who are these desperate and hopeless farmer representatives, along with the leaders of the opposition party who are busy opposing the BJP ideologically? Their intention is to create political disturbances within the country,” BJP Kisan Morcha National President Rajkumar Chahar said.
8. Parties like the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP), All India Kisan Sabha, AICCTU, JD (S), LDF and UDF have extended their support to the Bandh.
9. Karnataka farmers’ organisations – The State Farmers’ Association, Hasiru Sene, Pranta Raita Sangha, and Sugar Cane Growers Association are observing the Bharat Bandh across the state against the new farm laws enacted by the Central government. They have also given a call to block national highways and critical junctions across the state of Karnataka.
10. Karnataka government, led by Basavaraj Bommai, has warned that the organizers will be held responsible in case of any damage to public property, state government-owned buses. Hotel owners, management of malls, businessmen, shop owners, managements of schools and colleges have said that they are not participating in this bandh. Owners of private bus services in the state have also decided to keep their services functional.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with agency inputs
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