Lukewarm response in Belagavi district

Response to the Bharat Bandh called by farmers organisations was lukewarm in Belagavi district. However, members of farmers associations and Congress workers, AAP members and some labour unions held protests in several places.

Most government and private offices and shops and eateries were open in the morning. NWKRTC buses and private vehicles were running as usual. Schools and colleges remained 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. This delayed departure of some buses. Farmers set fire to tyres in front of the bus stand.

However, the police dispersed the protestors after some time.

Sidagouda Modagi, farmers leader, said that the protest will continue as long as the Union government remained 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. This led to vehicles being stopped on both sides for a few minutes.

After some time, the police arrived at the spot, cleared the road for vehicles and took the protestors into custody.

Farmers held a rasta roko protest at the Rani Channamma Circle for sometime. They also formed a human chain and sat around the circle for over an hour. Some farmers got into an altercation with the police who asked them to leave the place.

Congress leader Ayesha Sanadi and others protested against the farm laws at Hire Bagewadi. She sat on the highway, after tying a noose around her neck, while others dressed as corporate managers, tried to pull it. The police took her into custody too. She said that she will continue to support farmers till their demands were fulfilled.

In Gokak, KRRS youth wing leader Manju Pujari addressed the protestors. He gave an ultimatum to the government and said that it would have to face the wrath of the farmers, if the farm bills are not withdrawn soon. “Like everyone else, we had great faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We thought that he will help us by getting remunerative prices for farm produce, easy loans and irrigation facilities. But he has betrayed our trust. He has brought in a system where rich people like Adani and Ambani will be the landlords and we will be workers in their fields. It is nothing but going back to the medieval era,” he said.

In Nippani, Praveen Kharande, I.N. Baig and others led the protest. Tahsildar Mohan Bhasme received the memorandum from them. In Yaragatti, near Saundatti, farmers blocked the Belagavi-Bagalkot Road. Lakkappa Guddennavar and other leaders raised slogans against the farm laws and demanded that the government withdraw them. They lifted the blockade after the police dispersed them.

Protests were held in Bagalkot and Vijayapura districts too. In Bagalkot, farmers held a protest in front of the Yalagur Cross. In Vijayapura, members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene held a protest at Karjol Cross. Puttu Gudadan, Padeppa Kodekal and others led the protest.

In Vijayapura city, farmers blocked the main road for over an hour. Vasudev Meti, Nagaraj Gonal, Ganga Patil, Renuka Mashal, Sujata Sindhe and others participated.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 6:06:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/lukewarm-response-in-belagavi-district/article36697945.ece

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