Farmers stage protests; vehicular movement normal

Farmers and women activists taking out a protest march in Kalaburagi during the Bharat Bandh on Monday.  

Farmers representing different organisations staged demonstrations at different locations in Kalaburagi city and took out protest marches through the major streets on Monday opposing the three new farm laws. The agitations, which were coordinated by Samyukta Horata Karnataka, a conglomerate of different farmers organisations, were part of the Bharat Bandh called by farmers protesting on the Delhi borders for the last several months demanding the repeal of the laws.

Many social and political organisations, including the Congress, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), the Republican Party of India, the Kodihalli Chandrashekhar and Puttannaiah factions of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, different factions of the Dalit Sangharsh Samithi and several pro-Kannada organisations and students outfits, supported the bandh and actively participated in the agitations.

A group of agitators led by B.R. Patil tried to break the heavy security cordon to enter the Kalaburagi Railway Station. The protestors suddenly reached the railway station but were stopped at the entrance. However, the police foiled bids to block trains. Members of the District Congress Committee and Youth Congress held a car rally in the city.

Though the police had permitted the organisations to stage protests between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., the agitations dragged on till noon. Farmers in different groups staged simultaneous protest demonstrations at Central Bus Stand, Kharge Petrol Bunk Circle, Ram Mandir Circle, Sedam Road, Aland Check Post, Humnabad Ring Road Circle and other places bringing traffic movement to a standstill for a while. The agitating farmers then converged at Nagareshwar School in the Gunj area and took out a protest march on the main road waving flags and raising slogans against the Union government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The march stopped at Jagat Circle.

Congress leaders B.R. Patil and Sharan Prakash Patil, Raitha Krishi Karmika Sanghatane State secretary H.V. Diwakar, Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha’s district president Sharanabasappa Mamshetty, Akhila Bharata Kisan Sabha’s district president Maula Mulla, CPI leader Mahesh Rathod, Janwadi Mahila Sanghatan’s State vice-president K. Neela and others led the agitations and protests and addressed the farmers.

In their speeches, they criticised the Modi-led Union government for its rigidity and deliberate ignorance of farmers protests across the country, especially those on the Delhi borders, which have been on for the last several months, and demanded the complete repeal of the three farm laws.

As a precautionary measure, the Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation suspended bus services till noon. Except for a few hours in the morning, vehicular movement was almost normal throughout the day. Though the associations of owners of hotels, bakeries and lodges extended their moral support to the farmers cause, they did not close down their establishments. Shops and commercial establishments remained open in most places. Educational institutions too functioned as usual.

The Police Department deployed heavy forces at vital locations to ensure peaceful protests. Deputy Commissioner of Police Addur Srinivasulu was on the ground monitoring security arrangements.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 10:17:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/farmers-stage-protests-vehicular-movement-almost-normal/article36697539.ece

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