Bengaluru

Bharat Bandh: Little impact in Karnataka

A protest by various organisations demanding rollback of farm laws, as part of a call for a Bharat Bandh, at Town Hall in Bengaluru on September 27, 2021.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

 

Bharat Bandh call given by Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the protest at Delhi borders demanding rollback of farm laws, seems to have had little impact on normal life in Bengaluru.

All businesses were open and public transport services, including autorickshaws and cabs, are functioning as usual. Most traders’ bodies and transport associations announced moral support to the bandh call, but refused to close businesses citing losses they have already incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Farmers and Kannada organisations have begun rallies from multiple points around Bengaluru – K.R. Puram, Mysuru Road, Maurya Circle – and are all set to converge at Town Hall by 11 a.m. from where they will proceed to a protest rally at Freedom Park. Police have detained farmer leaders and protestors at different points in Bengaluru, drawing the ire of farmers.

Kuruburu Shantakumar was leading a protest at Maurya Circle when he was detained and taken to Adugodi police station.

“We were holding a peaceful demonstration and were not even blocking the road. We have been detained illegally, and this is an undemocratic act. We refused to get down from the bus at the police station, and are protesting here,” he said from Adugodi police station.

A senior police official said that farmers had permission to hold a rally from Town Hall to Freedom Park, but instead farmers had commenced rallies from different parts of Bengaluru.

 

Protests in Mysuru

Even though shops, schools, restaurants and banks remained open in most parts of Mysuru, the bandh was marked by demonstrations, processions and road blockades by farmers', Dalit and progressive organisations.

Roads were blocked in front of KSRTC mofussil bus stand and near the city bus stand early in the morning. The protestors also raised slogans against the rise in prices of fuel and other essential commodities.

KSRTC bus services were disrupted for some time in the morning.

Activists of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), Karnataka Sugarcane Farmers’ Association, CPI, AIUTUC, SDPI and other organisations took part in the demonstrations.

Additional police force was deployed in front of city bus stand, mofussil bus stand and the KSRTC bus depot in Bannimantap.

Shops on D. Devaraj Urs Road and K.R. Circle did not open in the morning,but most other commercial establishments in various parts of the city, including the ones on Sayyaji Rao Road, were open.

Schools and other educational institutions were open, but a few students complained about non-availability of buses in the morning. Banks remained open.

Autos and taxis operated as usual in most parts of the city. Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association had extended moral support to the bandh.

Belagavi

In Belagavi district, response to the Bharat Bandh call was lukewarm. However, members of farmers' associations and Congress workers held protests in several places.

Most government and private offices, shops and eateries were open in the morning. NWKRTC buses and private vehicles were running as usual. Schools and colleges were open. Similar scenes were witnessed in Chikkodi, Gokak, Saundatti, Athani and other towns.

Farmers tried to stop buses from leaving the NWKRTC bus stand in Belagavi in the morning, which delayed the departure of some buses. However, police dispersed them after some time.

Sidagouda Modagi, farmers' leader, said that the ’ protest would continue as long as the Union government remains adamant about not withdrawing the farm laws. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addresses farmers as his brothers, is not really concerned about our welfare. He has time to fly to America to meet corporate bosses, but has no time to meet farmers who are agitating in New Delhi for over 10 months now,’’ he said.

Farmers succeeded in stopping vehicles near the toll booth in Hire Bagewadi on the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway for a few minutes till police took the protestors into custody.

 

Congress leader Ayesha Sanadi and others staged a protest at Hire Bagewadi. She sat on the highway, with a noose around her neck while other protestors dressed as corporate managers, tried to pull it. Police took her into custody. She said she will continue to support farmers till their demands are fulfilled.

 

Lukewarm response in Hubballi

Response to the bandh call was lukewarm in the districts of Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag and Uttar Kannada.

It was just another day as public transport buses and autorickshaws plied as usual. Government and private offices, business, and commercial establishments carried out their activities without any hassle.

The only time when shops and business establishments were closed temporarily was during the march by farmers' organisations.

In Dharwad, farmers and activists of various organisations blocked Jubillee Circle for some time while in Hubballi protestors staged a demonstration at Kittur Chennamma Circle.

 

Coastal Karnataka

There was no response to the Bharat Bandh in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.

People wait for city buses at Urwa Stores in Mangaluru on September 27, 2021.

People wait for city buses at Urwa Stores in Mangaluru on September 27, 2021.   | Photo Credit: H S Manjunath

 

The public transport system was operating as usual. Government and private offices, educational institutions and all commercial establishments remained opened.

Raita, Dalita, Karmika Janapara Chaluvaligala Okkuta said that its activists will block National Highway 75 (Bengaluru-Mangaluru) at B.C. Road for some time around noon.

 

Malnad

Farmers hit the streets and organised a bike rally in Shivamogga appealing to the public to support the Bharat Bandh and put pressure on the Centre to withdraw farm laws. Members of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene took part in the rally.

However, business establishments were open and public transport was not affected.

In Hassan, farmers scheduled a march from Hemavathi statue circle to the tahsildar’s office at 11.30 a.m. They have plans to stop traffic on Bengaluru-Mangaluru National Highway.

 

Kalaburagi

In Kalaburagi, members of AIUTUC, CITU, JMS, KSDSS staged a protest at Central Bus Stand from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. followed by a rally towards Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel chowk.

In Kalaburagi, members of various organisations staged a protest at Central Bus Stand from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

In Kalaburagi, members of various organisations staged a protest at Central Bus Stand from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.  

 

KKRTC suspended services till noon.

At Aland check post, members of various pro-farmers organisations and trade unions staged a protest at the ring road junction near Ram Mandir.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 10:25:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bharath-bandh-has-little-impact-in-bengaluru/article36689471.ece

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