The Bharat Bandh called by the farmers’ unions protesting against the recent farm sector laws affected normal life on Tuesday in large parts of northern India, especially Punjab, as well as Odisha, and the southern States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Farm unions under the banner of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha claimed that more than 50 lakh people participated in the Bharat Bandh call at 20,000 locations across the country. At least 25 political parties supported the bandh, along with trade unions, retail and transport associations and many professional bodies.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah met 13 farmer leaders at the end of a day of nationwide protest and Bharat Bandh called by farmer organisations. By calling a select group, some divisions appear to have been created among the farmer groups.
Here are the live updates:
Amit Shah meets farmer leaders
A day before the government’s crucial sixth round of talks with representatives of protesting farmers, Home Minister Amit Shah met a select group of union leaders.
Sources said 13 farmer leaders were called for the meeting, which began after 8 p.m. The farmer leaders included eight from Punjab and five from various nationwide organisations.
Sources said the participating leaders included Hannan Mollah of the All India Kisan Sabha and Rakesh Tikait of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).
Some farmer leaders said they first expected the meeting to take place at Mr. Shah’s residence in New Delhi, but the venue was shifted to the Pusa area.
The meeting assumes significance as farmer leaders have been firm on their demand for repeal of three new farm laws enacted in September, which they claim will benefit corporates and end the mandi system and the minimum support price (MSP) regime.
“We will demand just a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ from Home Minister Amit Shah,” farmer leader Rudru Singh Mansa told reporters earlier in the day at the Singhu border where thousands of farmers have been protesting for the last 12 days.
Farmer leaders go to ICAR guest house to meet Amit Shah
Farmer leaders have been taken to the International Guest House of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for the meeting with the Home Minister, according to one of the leaders.
'Farmers want Ramlila Ground'
Farmer leaders said the protesters will not go to Burari ground as it is an “open jail” and demanded that Ramlila Ground be given to them. They added that they don’t want to trouble the people of Delhi and Haryana.
Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav said the nationwide shudown was observed in around 10,000 places in 25 states. - PTI
We are addressing Punjab farmers' concerns: Goyal
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on Tuesday sought the help of the chartered accountants’ fraternity to make farmers understand the benefits of the legislative reforms undertaken by the Centre.
Mr Goyal, who is also the Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industry, said the government is ready to address the fears expressed by some sections of farmers.
"There are a few apprehensions raised by farmers, particularly for Punjab, which we are addressing and are ready to address. I am confident that going forward, as more people understand and appreciate the good work that these changes are seeking to do, we will see huge improvement in the lives and prosperity of our farmer brothers and sisters,” the minister said, speaking at an event on startups hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
“I would urge you to help farmers in the country understand the great benefits that we are trying to provide to farmers across the length and breadth of the country,” Mr Goyal told the CAs in attendance, stressing that the new laws are the government’s ‘humble effort to support our farmers’.
“Every care has been taken to ensure that without affecting the existing ecosystem available to farmers – the existing APMCs, mandis, arathiya system – everything has been kept intact. We have only offered new opportunities to farmers, only opened the doors wider for our farmers so that they get options, newer opportunities and new markets,” he explained. - Vikas Dhoot
Get ready for long battle, KTR warns central govt
The TRS working president, K.T. Rama Rao has threatened the Central government with a long agitation against the three farm laws stating they would reach out to every farmer to explain how the Central government was compromising farmers interests to favour the corporates.
Accusing the BJP government of being undemocratic, he said it was not willing to listen to the farmers and blindly toeing the line of corporates. He was speaking at a rasta roko at Burugula near Shadnagar in support of the Bharat Bandh called by the farmers' organisations against the new farm bills.
Farmers leaders to meet Amit Shah
Thirteen farmer leaders have been invited to meet Home Minister Amit Shah at 7 pm this evening. This includes nine farmer leaders from the Punjab unions, along with Rakesh Tikait from BKU in Uttar Pradesh, Gurnam Singh Chaduni from BKU in Haryana, Shiv Kumar Kakkaji from the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and Hannan Mollah from the All India Kisan Sabha.
From one of the farmer leaders, who did not want to be named: It is an unofficial meeting. We understand that the Home Minister will give us the government’s proposal, as promised at the last meeting. We do not intend to have any discussions with Mr. Shah tonight. We will recieve the proposal and come back to discuss with all the farmer groups. - Priscilla Jebaraj
Opposition leaders have consciously decided to stay away from protest sites: Left
Opposition party leaders have taken a conscious decision to stay away from protest sites, Left leaders said on Tuesday as they extended their support to farmer groups who have called a nationwide bandh against the farm laws.
“It is a conscious decision on our part to stay away from the protest sites. The farmer groups themselves also told us that they would want it this way. So, we have no party banners at the protest sites.
“However, our MPs are there, as parliamentarians, to show solidarity. We do not want to politicise the issue. It’s not just the Left parties, but all opposition has taken this call that except MPs no leader will join the farmers,” said CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
CPI general secretary D Raja also said that the farmers’ agitation was completely non-political and the absence of political leaders at the sites was a decision taken to highlight that.
Congress, NCP workers stage protests in Thane
Activists of the Congress and NCP on Tuesday staged protests in Thane and Palghar districts of Maharashtra as part of the Bharat Bandh.
In Mira-Bhayandar township, more than one hundreds activists of the Youth Congress were detained for taking out a symbolic funeral procession of the three laws.
In Thane city, workers of the Congress, NCP and Left parties held a sit-in protest in front of the district collectorate.
A two-wheeler rally was taken out by activists of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) in Thane city.
Various social, religions and cultural organisations formed a human chain on Sion-Panvel highway near Vashi in Navi Mumbai.
In Palghar district, markets in Vasai, Dahanu and other areas remained closed.
Mixed response in Uttarakhand
The bandh evoked a mixed response in Uttarakhand, with little effect seen in the hill districts of Chamoli, Pauri, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag while the border district of Pithoragarh observed a complete strike. In the state capital, scores of party workers led by PCC president Pritam Singh marched from the state party office here to Paltan bazar to enforce the bandh but ran into arguments with shop owners who refused to down their shutters.
Later they sat on a dharna at the busy clock tower shouting slogans against the new farm laws causing a brief traffic jam in the area.
However, police intervened to restore traffic detaining the PCC president along with his supporters and taking them to the police lines.
Protests held in parts of Nagpur city, rural areas
Protests were held in several parts of Maharashtra’s Nagpur city and rural areas in support of the bandh.
The bandh, however, received a mixed response from traders who supported farmers but did not shut their establishments.
A peaceful demonstration was held at Automotive Square in the city, where members of the Sikh community showed their support to the farmers’ agitation and were joined by representatives of other communities.
Protestors including women and youth also participated in the demonstration and raised slogans urging the Centre to withdraw the agri laws.
Mixed response in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh
A mixed response in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday barring sporadic protests.
In Gwalior district, police used water cannons to disperse agitators who were led by a Congress leader.
Shops remained open in several cities even as Congress workers took out rallies appealing shop-keepers to down shutters.
Functioning of APMCs in many parts of the central Indian state, including in Bhopal, was affected as farmers failed to reach the market yards to sell their produce.
Bhopal vegetable market, however, functioned normally.
Coalfield ops normal, inter-state traffic affected in Jharkhand
The nationwide shutdown over the Centre’s new farm laws evoked a mixed response in Jharkhand on Tuesday with government offices functioning as usual, private institutions and shops closed in some areas, while local traffic was near normal but long-distance vehicles remained off the roads.
Protests and demonstrations were held in Ranchi, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur, Palamu, Dumka, Bokaro, Sahibganj and Pakur but no untoward incident was reported from anywhere, officials said.
Director-General of Police MV Rao said that the situation in all the districts was peaceful.
TMC begins sit-in demonstration in support of farmers
The TMC on Tuesday began its three-day-long sit-in demonstration against the new farm laws and demanded that the “anti-people” legislation should be withdrawn immediately.
The farmers and agricultural workers wing of the TMC, led by its state president and TMC MLA Becharam Manna, began its sit-in demonstration in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in central Kolkata this afternoon.
Party activists carrying placards and demanding the withdrawal of the new farm laws shouted slogans against the BJP government at the Centre.
Moderate response to bandh call in Tirupati
The ‘Bharat Bandh’ given by farmers’ organisations received moderate response in the temple city of Tirupati on Tuesday. The sentiment was scarcely felt in the predominantly-urban localities, though political parties left no stone unturned to ensure its success.
With the state government extending tacit support till lunch hour, many government offices remained closed till 1 pm. Most of the APSRTC buses were also confined to bus stations, but one or two that ventured out were stopped by party activists.
- AD Rangarajan
Mixed response to Bharat Bandh in West UP
Western Uttar Pradesh saw a mixed response to the call of Bharat Bandh given by farmer groups and political parties on Tuesday. While most markets in urban areas functioned as usual, mandis in rural areas remained shut. Members of different factions of Bhartiya Kisan Union protested on the national and state highways. The police put many local political leaders under house arrest and didn’t allow them to join protests, citing Section 144 and the Epidemic Act.
Bhim Army Chief Chandrshekhar Azad was put under house arrest when he was trying to move to participate in Bharat Bandh on Tuesday. In a tweet, Mr. Azad said that today our annadatas (farmers) need us but the Yogi government had put him under house arrest since morning.
- Anuj Kumar
Normal life disrupted in Punjab
Shops and commercial establishments were seen completely or partially closed in many parts of the State. In Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Hrayana, however, shops were open in many markets. The vehicular traffic was also plying close to normal in the city.
In Punjab, as several group of farmers, members of government employee associations, trade bodies held sit-in ( dharnas ) on key roads, including national and State highways, besides railway tracks at few places, vehicular and rail traffic movement was severely disrupted. Public transport including buses and taxis were hardly seen plying on the roads. Fuel station were also seen closed in the State.
Scores of people including elderly, women and youth in different parts of the State squatted on roads and shouted slogans against the BJP-led government at the Centre, accusing it of implementing “anti-farmer” policies, and asked the government to fulfill all demands of farmers. Agitating farmers blocked roads in Patiala, Moga, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Barnala, Faridkot, Muktsar, Mansa, Bathinda and other districts. Supply of essential commodities was disrupted at few places during the shutdown, which was peaceful.
Squatting on a road in Mohali’s phase-8, several employees of Punjab Education Board blocked vehicular traffic. “We are protesting to express our solidarity with farmers. All of us are with them in their struggle and it’s our duty. We will continue to support farmers and their agitation unless the demands of farmer are not fulfilled,” Sukhchain Singh, a leader of Punjab School Education Board Employees Association, told The Hindu.
- Vikas Vasudeva
"Shiv Sena never supported farm laws"
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the Uddhav Thackeray-led party never supported the three farm laws in Lok Sabha as alleged by the BJP.
Taking a swipe at the Centre over farmers’ protests, Raut suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Union Home Minister Amit Shah can hold talks with cultivators who are observing the Bharat Bandh against farm laws. - PTI
Centre helping corporates, allege farmer leaders
Farmer leaders in Maharashtra accused the government of favouring corporates by bringing these legislations.
Former MP from Kolhapur district and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) leader Raju Shetti said the Centre will have to withdraw these laws in view of the mounting pressure.
Earlier in the day, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna members stopped the Chennai-Ahmedabad Navjeevan Express at Malkapur station in Buldhana district while protesting against the farm laws.
Various farmer organisations took out protest rallies in Buldhana, Jalna and Aurangabad.
Farmer leader Raghunath Patil criticised NCP chief and former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on his stand on agricultural issues.
CPI (M)’s Ajit Navale said that farmers were left without any support system in view of the passage of the three new laws.
Punjabi artistes Diljit Dosanjh, Ammy Virk and others support Bharat Bandh
Punjabi artistes Diljit Dosanjh, Ammy Virk, Gurdas Maan and others have extended their support to Bharat Bandh.
Dosanjh, who was last week involved in a Twitter spat with actor Kangana Ranaut, shared a black-and-white picture of farmers sitting on roads protesting, ‘Bharat Bandh’ written atop in bold.
“Today is Bharat Bandh #FarmersProtest” he wrote in the caption.
Sharing the same photo on his Twitter account, singer-actor Ammy Virk wrote, #Today Bharat Bandh #ModiYesOrNo.”
Delhi markets mostly open; more farmers arrive amid tight security at borders
There were rousing speeches and sloganeering at Delhi’s border points amid tight security arrangements, even as most of the city’s markets remained open.
Protesting farmers have threatened to block key roads and occupy toll plazas as part of their call for the bandh.
A senior police office said patrolling was being carried out in the city’s market areas, including Chandni Chowk and Sadar Bazar, to maintain law and order. Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders, claimed transport services and markets functioned normally in the national capital and other parts of the country, and that the ‘Bharat Bandh’ had no impact on such activities.
Jammu witnesses pro-farmer protests
Various organisations, including transporters, held peaceful protests here on Tuesday to express solidarity with farmers who gave a call for Bharat Bandh.
The bandh evoked a mixed response in Jammu region with most of public transport staying off roads. Commuters faced problems and were seen walking a distance, but shops and business establishments remained partially open.
The main protest rally was taken out by J&K Transport Welfare Association (JKTWA) from Bikram Chowk to Digyana, blocking the Jammu-Pathankote highway. The JKTWA and over a dozen other social, religious and political organizations have extended support to the bandh call.
The fruit mandi in north Kashmir’s Sopore town observed a complete shutdown to extended their support to the bandh. "All the activities and businesses in the fruit mandi has been halted," Fayaz Ahmad Malik, president of the mandi, said.
- Peerzada Ashiq; PTI
Lukewarm response for Bharat Bandh in BJP-ruled Gujarat
The Bharat Bandh failed to have much impact till noon in BJP-ruled Gujarat even as protesters tried to block highways at some places by placing burning tyres on roads.
Barring a few places in the state, all the markets, shops, banks, government and private offices, and other commercial establishments functioned normally.
Normal life in major cities remained unaffected as buses plied on roads. The BRTS (Bus Rapd Transit System) functioned as per schedule in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Surat.
Some Haryana FPOs express support for farm reform laws, with amendments
Some farmer producer organisations from Haryana, claiming to represent 1.2 lakh farmers in the State, have come out in support of the three agricultural marketing reform laws. However, they still wanted the government's suggested amendments and a reassurance that minimum support prices will continue, they said in a letter to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
A delegation of about 20 farmers, representatives of three different groups, met with Mr. Tomar late on Monday evening, on the eve of the Bharat Bandh, and expressed their support for the laws.
Muted response for bandh in the coast
The response to the call for Bandh received muted response in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.
Normal life remained unaffected in these districts while a few organisations held demonstrations in support of farmers demands. A federation of workers and Dalit movements held a demonstration at the busy Nanthoor Junction at the intersection of NH 75 and NH 66 in the forenoon. Blocking vehicular movement for some time, protesters raised slogans against the anti-farmer policies of the Narendra Modi government.
Meanwhile, members of Bandaru Shramikara Sangha and CITU held a demonstration supporting farmers at Karmikara Katte near Mangaluru Old Port.
Spate of agitations in central Tamil Nadu
The Bharat Bandh called by farmers unions and supported by the Opposition parties on Tuesday against the three new farm laws witnessed a slew of protests in the form of 'road roko' and demonstrations by the Left parties, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Congress and members of farmers organisations across the central region.
Normal life remained unaffected as shops and business establishments remained opened in Tiruchi with government and private buses being operated.However, traders in some places in Ariyalur district besides in Pudukottai district downed shutters to extend solidarity with the farmers who have been staging a protest in New Delhi against the new farm laws.
In Tiruchi district, the road rokos were reported at eight places so far including Uppiliapuram, Thuraiyur, Lalgudi, Tiruverambur, Thuvarankurichi, Manachanallur and Somarasampet leading to the arrest of over 400 members belonging to the two Left parties and the DMK.
AAP workers detained
Rahul Gandhi urges people to support Bharat Bandh
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday urged people to support the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer leaders and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop “stealing” from farmers.
Mr. Gandhi and the Congress party are supporting the farmers’ agitation and they have demanded a repeal of the three farm laws.
The Congress is openly supporting the Bharat Bandh and has joined the protests by holding dharnas and demonstrations across the country.
Normal life partially affected in Kurnool, Anantapur
The normal life got partially affected with the Left parties organising massive rallies in Kurnool and Anantapur districts and stopping all vehicular traffic for a brief period on the National Highway on Tuesday morning.
The shop owners voluntarily downed their shutters in the morning, but everything returned to normalcy by noon. With the State government providing support for the Bharat Bandh, all government offices were closed and APSRTC buses did not come out of the garages. Some people were seen waiting for the elusive buses at the bus stations in Anantapur district, but autorickshaws and private vehicles - both two-wheelers and four-wheelers plied normally with none stopping them anywhere.
- Ramesh Susarla
CPI Rajya Sabha MP, 100 others detained
CPI Rajya Sabha MP KK Ragesh detained along with a hundred workers of CITU, All-India Kisan Sabha and Anganwari workers at Bilaspur Chowk in Gurugram off NH-48: SDM, Pataudi, Pradeep Kumar.
- Ashok Kumar
Mixed reaction to Bharat Bandh call in Rajasthan
The Bharat bandh call given by farmers organisations evoked a mixed reaction in Rajasthan where mandis remained closed but several shops were open as usual on Tuesday morning. The bandh is supported by the ruling Congress party in the State.
Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas along with his supporters visited Civil Lines, Sodala, MI Road and other areas on a tractor and other vehicles in support of the bandh.
“The impact is clearly visible in towns and villages. All the mandis in the state are closed and the bandh is going on peacefully,” Kisan Mahapanchayat president Rampal Jat said.
Total bandh in Telangana as all parties except BJP support ryots’ protest
A total bandh is being observed across Telangana with the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the forefront to make the protest successful.
Bharat Bandh in Nalgonda began as early as 5 a.m. with cadres of Left parties and their farmer organisations reaching the seven TSRTC bus depots, and preventing bus drivers from starting their routine. At around 11 a.m., leaders started reaching the NH-65 (Hyderabad-Vijayawada) and other state highways, blocking the traffic.
Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, fuel stations were open, but shops and banks were closed and autorickshaws were off the road. Metro services were functioning.
There were pockets of protests near Raidurgam, HiTec City, Charminar and other areas of the city as ruling TRS party workers joined the stir with their pink flags.
Delhi Congress chief detained
Delhi Congress president Ch. Anil Kumar has been detained after he led Delhi Congress workers in support of the Bharat Bandh called by farmers. He not only hit out against the Central government but also the Delhi government for notifying one of the new laws passed by the Centre.
Currently available open borders to Haryana are Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan, Palam Vihar and Dundahera Borders, said Delhi Traffic Police.
- Jaideep Deo Bhanj, Hemani Bhandari
Shops, business establishments closed in Puducherry
Shops and businesses establishments remained closed in the Union Territory during the nation wide Bharat bandh called by farmers union against agriculture laws on Tuesday. The main market on Jawaharlal Nehru Street remained closed. Only private vehicles were on the road.
Workers belonging to Congress, CPI, CPI (M), VCK, AAP, CPI (ML) and various other political parties courted arrest while staging a protest near New Bus Stand. Similar protests were held at seven other places in Puducherry.
Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy while speaking to reporters after addressing the party workers at the New Bus Stand said in the next Assembly session a resolution would be passed urging the Centre to withdraw the three farm laws.
Normal life affected in Assam
Normal life was affected in Assam as commercial vehicles were off the roads and most shops and business establishments were closed due to Bharat Bandh.
Several trade and transport unions had extended support to the nationwide shutdown called by farmers’ groups against the new farm laws. In Assam, 13 political parties including the Congress and the Assam Jatiya Parishad had also backed the shutdown.
Officials said there were a few incidents of protestors blocking roads but the situation was under control. The Assam government had instructed the district authorities to ensure the shutdown remains peaceful.
Railway stations and arterial tracks were being monitored to prevent disruption of train services by protestors, officials said. -- Rahul Karmakar
Farmers block Delhi-U.P. highway
TPCC objects to TRS participation in bandh
TPCC working president, Ponnam Prabhakar objects to TRS participating in Bharat Bandh, claiming "the party that booked cases against farmers and undemocratically stopped farmers agitations in Telangana has no right to participate in the bandh".
He asked CM KCR to first buy the fine variety paddy first as promised and then participate in the Bandh.
Meanwhile, the police openly supported the bandh call by allowing tractors to be parked on National Highway 44 at Toopran.
- Ravikanth Reddy, R. Avadhani
Complete Bandh, no untoward incident in A.P.
The Bharat Bandh evoked good response in Visakhapatnam, as everything came to a grinding halt, but there was no untoward incident, till about 10 a.m.
In the last minute, the State Government had decided to support the bandh, due to which APSRTC buses did not ply and auto-rickshaws were fewer on the roads. The State Government had declared holiday for all schools and colleges and offices were told to function after 1 p.m.
Since early morning, cadres and leaders of various left parties were seen staging rasta roko at various strategic junctions such as Maddilapalem, APSRTC Complex, Jagadamba Junction, NAD Kotha Rao and Gajuwaka. There were no arrests and to avoid traffic jams, police were seen diverting the traffic. Shops and establishments remained closed.
- Sumit Bhattacharjee
Some auto, taxi unions join strike
A section of auto and taxi unions on Tuesday joined the Bharat Bandh and decided to keep their vehicles off the roads here.
Kamaljeet Gill, President of Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi, which represents drivers working with cab aggregators, claimed most of its members were on strike. “There are around 4 lakh app based cabs in Delhi-NCR. Most of our members are on strike,” he said.
President of Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association, Sanjay Samrat said drivers associated with several unions including Delhi State Taxi Cooperative Society and Kaumi Ekta Welfare Association were on strike.
Shops, commercial establishments closed in Punjab
Shops and commercial establishments remained shut at many places in Punjab on Tuesday morning in view of the Bharat Bandh. Petroleum dealers in the State closed filling stations to back the call for the nationwide strike. There are over 3,400 fuel pumps in Punjab.
Farmers started assembling on highways and other key roads in both states from the morning.
“We will hold a protest peacefully,” a farmer said in Mohali. In Ludhiana, a group of protesters squatted on a road to express solidarity with the protesting farmers.
Shops shut, public transport hit in Chhattisgarh
Major cities in Chhattisgarh, including capital Raipur, wore a deserted look on Tuesday morning with most of the business establishments remaining closed as part of the Bharat Bandh.
Leaders of the ruling Congress, including MLAs and workers, have come out on streets at many places in Raipur and are appealing people to express solidarity with farmers.
Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) chief Mohan Markam and the party workers will visit Donde Khurd village in Raipur district to support the farmers’ agitation, a party spokesperson said.
Left supporters block railways in Bengal
Normal life was affected on Tuesday in several districts of West Bengal as the supporters of political parties tried to enforce bandh. While in several districts of south Bengal supporters of the Left parties tried to enforce the Bharat Bandh called by farmers by blocking railways and roads, in north Bengal it was Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) supporters who tried to enforce the bandh called by the party in protest against the violence at Siliguri on Monday.
Supporters of the Left parties tried to block suburban Railways by throwing banana leaves on the overhead railway lines. Eastern Railway officials said that obstructions to the Railway movement were at Diamond Harbour section and at Jadavpur, Rishra, Ashoknagar railway sections. Bandh supporters squatted on railway tracks with flags and even climbed train engines. 26 trains were cancelled in the Sealdah section due to these obstructions.
Opposition parties block national highways in Bihar
Opposition parties in Bihar came out in support of farmer’s Bharat Bandh call and blocked national highways and roads across the State and stalled vehicular traffic.
The protesters blocked National Highways 30, 31, 83 and 110 at different places in the state and stalled vehicular traffics. In Bhojpur, Jehanabad, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Kishanganj, Vaishali, Aurangabad, Darbhanga, Khagaria and at other places protestors have stalled public transport causing inconvenience to commuters and raising slogans against new farm reform laws.
The Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal, Jan Adhikar Party (Democratic) and other party leaders and supporters have also come out on the roads of State capital, Patna and blocked roads in support of farmer’s call for Bharat Bandh.
- Amarnath Tewary
Traffic on highway from Zirakpur to Ambala and Rajpura to Ambala is diverted due to blockages in Punjab. It is likely to remain diverted till about 3 p.m. today, says Additional DGP (law and order), Haryana, Navdeep Virk.
- Ashok Kumar
Bharat Bandh evokes total response in Odisha
The bandh call evoked total response in Odisha. As the call was supported by Congress, Left parties and various farmer organizations, normal life was affected across the State. Roads wore a deserted look while vehicles were off the road.
Protesters with their respective party flags in their hands were seen roaming on the road. In view of the Bharat Bandh, Odisha government had on Monday announced that offices would remain closed on Tuesday. Agitators also staged a 'rail roko'.
At Mastercanteen Square, a central Bhubaneswar location, saw hundreds of farmers and members of political such as Congress, CPI (M), CPI and Samajwadi Party shouted against the NDA government for coming up with the new farm laws.
- Satyasundar Barik
Bandh call gets good response
The call for Bharat Bandh evoked good response in Hubballi, Dharwad and other taluks of Dharwad district with various organisations staging protests and road blocks from early morning.
However, the Bandh call evoked lukewarm response in Haveri and Gadag districts and life appeared normal in most of the places.
In Hubballi and Dharwad, protesters from various organisations including political parties in the Opposition resorted to early morning protests and effigy burning.
Some of the protesters had altercations with the Police after they tried to stop protestors from stopping public transport services. The protesters, however, did not budge and managed to send the buses back into the depots.
- Girish Pattanashetti
Protesting farmers prepare to block roads, occupy toll plazas in Delhi
Protesting farmers started preparations to block key roads and occupy toll plazas as part of the Bharat Bandh. All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) general secretary Hannan Mollah said the Bharat Bandh is a show of strength by the farmers, and their legitimate demands have found support from people across the country.
Agitating farmer unions have threatened to block national highways and occupy toll plazas across the country during their ‘chakka jam’ protest from 11 a.m. to 3 pm. as part of their stir. Emergency services will be exempted during the bandh.
“We are standing by our demand that we want a complete repeal of the three laws and will not accept any cosmetic changes. The nature of these laws are such that amendments will not make any difference. Today we have called a bandh, and if our demands are not met, we are ready to take our agitation to the next level,” Mr. Mollah said.
CITU stages bike rally
Heavy police deployment at Salem
Normal life mostly unaffected in Bengaluru
The Bharath Band has little affected normal life in the city. While all public transport is plying on the roads, very few commercial establishments have shut shop.
However, the city is rocked by several protests by farmers, Kannada organisations and opposition Congress in the city. Farmers' protests are on at Mysore Bank circle and Maurya Circle in the central business district. A large rally of farmers and Kannada organisations is expected to start from Town Hall at around 11 am. Congress is holding a sit-in protest at Vidhana Soudha led by leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah.
- Aditya Bharadwaj
Anna Hazare on fast to support farmers
Social activist Anna Hazare sat on a day-long hunger strike to support agitating farmers who have called Bharat Bandh demanding repeal of the Centre’s agri laws. Mr.Hazare also said the agitation should spread across the country so that the government comes under pressure to act in the interests of cultivators.
In a recorded message, he appreciated farmers’ protests at the borders of Delhi saying no violence has taken place in the last 10 days of the agitation.
“I appeal to the people of the country that the agitation which is going on in Delhi should spread across the country. The situation needs to created to create pressure on the government, and to achieve this, farmers need to hit streets. But no one should resort to violence,” said Mr. Hazare, who began his fast in Ralegan Siddhi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
Farmers stop train in Maharashtra
Members of a farmers’ organisation staged a ‘rail roko’ in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district as part of the Bharat Bandh.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna members stopped the Chennai-Ahmedabad Navjeevan Express at Malkapur station in Buldhana district while protesting against the farm laws. Police detained Sanghatana leader Ravikant Tupkar and his supporters over the incident, after removing them from the rail tracks, an official said.
Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in Navi Mumbai, Nashik, Dhule, Pune and Solapur are closed during the bandh.
Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses are plying as scheduled during the Bharat Bandh, a senior official of the state-run undertaking said. The buses will continue to ply unless there are law and order problems due to the shutdown, he added. The All India Motor Transport Congress, an apex body of trucker outfits, has joined the bandh and has suspended operations on Tuesday.
Protesters block three highways in Gujarat
Protesters blocked three highways in rural Gujarat by placing burning tyres on roads on Tuesday morning as part of the Bharat Bandh, affecting vehicular traffic for some time.
A highway connecting Ahmedabad to Viramgam was blocked near Sanand by protesters from the Congress party who placed burning tyres on roads, causing a traffic jam. Another group of protesters blocked a national highway in Vadodara. In another incident, a highway connecting Bharuch and Dahej in Bharuch districtwas similarly blocked near Nandelav by protesters.
Police detained protesters in Ahmedabad and brought the situation under control, an official said.
The state government has imposed section 144 of the CrPC, which bans assembly of more than four persons, in view of the Bharat Bandh.
Delhi Police beefs up security at border points, markets among other places
The Delhi Police on Tuesday beefed up security at all border points and made arrangements to maintain law and order across the city, including market places, officials said.
“The security across the national capital, especially on bordering areas, has been beefed up,” a senior police officer said. He said there is maximum deployment of Delhi Police personnel in the city to ensure normal movement of people on the roads so that no one faces any kind of inconvenience.
Taking to Twitter, DCP (traffic western range) said, “Tikri, Jharoda Borders, Dhansa are closed for any Traffic Movement. Badusarai Border is open only for light motor vehicle like Cars and two wheelers. Jhatikara Border is open only for two wheeler traffic @dtptraffic.”
In another tweet, the police said available open borders to Haryana are Daurala, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan, Palam Vihar and Dundahera.
TRS, Congress, CPI(M) stage rallies in Telangana
Bharat Bandh in undivided Nalgonda in Telangana is being observed strictly. NH-65 that connects Hyderabad-Vijayawada, the Narketpally-Addanki State highway, the NH-163 between Hyderabad and Warangal, wear a deserted look.
Meanwhile, TRS, Congress and CPI(M) workers have staged rallies in the State.
Rachakonda police commissionerate, that administers Bhongir zone of Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district, issues ‘Bandh advisory’.
“It is appealed to everyone to maintain peace. Action will be taken against those who indulge in any forcible closure/ stoppages.”
- B. Pradeep
Business as usual at Koyambedu market
CPI stages 'rasta roko' in A.P.
Railways fears blockades in 16 States; warns of LWE elements joining strike
Anticipating rail blockades in 16 States, the Railways has issued directives for maintaining law and order in trains and station premises, cautioning zonal railways against pro-left wing extremists participating in today's ‘Bharat Bandh’.
Director general, Railway Protection Force (RPF), Arun Kumar has asked general managers of zonal railways to keep vigil to contain the impact of the nationwide strike called by farmer groups against the three agri laws.
The Railways’ two biggest unions, AIRF and NFIR have extended their support to the bandh and are planning to hold rallies and demonstrations.
Home Ministry issues advisory for 'Bharat bandh'
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory to all States and Union Territories that no untoward incident should occur during Tuesday’s all-India strike called by farmers’ union . It asked them to maintain peace and tranquility and ensure that all COVID-19 guidelines are strictly followed.
The union leaders have said the strike will be effective from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. but no kind of essential or emergency services will be disrupted.
Support widens for Bharat Bandh call
Top Opposition leaders, in a joint statement on Sunday, extended support for the December 8 Bharat Bandh call by the agitating farmers and said the new farm laws would “destroy agriculture by mortgaging it to corporates”.
The joint statement was signed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, DMK president M.K. Stalin, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D. Raja, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and CPI(ML)’s Dipankar Bhattacharya among others.
Support pouring in for ‘Bharat Bandh’, says Kisan Morcha
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha leaders on Sunday claimed that support had poured in from various political parties, transport unions, women and students organisations and industry federations for the December 8 ‘Bharat Bandh’ , which they said would be “complete” and no traffic would be allowed till 3 p.m.
The leaders, however, clarified that emergency services and wedding procession would be permitted. The supply of vegetables, fruits and milk would be hit, they said.
Farm leaders urge non-political support for Bharat bandh
as a sign of the widening support for their movement, and refuting the government’s accusation that the protests have now been hijacked by vested political interests.
“We want to thank political parties for their support, but we appeal to them to leave their own flags and banners at home, and stand solely in support of farmers,” said Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal, during a press conference called by Punjab’s farmer leaders at the Singhu border on Monday.