Police in several states tightened security on Tuesday as protests and highway blockades in several states began amid the call for the Bharat Bandh or nationwide shutdown by farmers protesting the three central farm laws. Transport services, offices and shops, particularly those selling fruits and vegetables, are likely to be affected in some states and cities during the Bharat Bandh from 11am to 3pm.
The farmer groups are expected to block highways and occupy toll plazas but they have said this will be a “peaceful protest” and emergency services – like ambulances – will not be stopped or delayed.
The Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena, Left parties, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) have extended their support to the call. Several cab and taxi unions are also supporting the Bharat Bandh due to which travelling across the states is likely to be disrupted.
The farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
As India gears up for Bharat Bandh on Tuesday, here’s how states are dealing with it:
1. Protesting farmers started preparations to block key roads and occupy toll plazas on Tuesday as part of their call for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ against the Centre’s new farms laws.
2. Gautam Buddh Nagar’s additional commissioner of police Love Kumar said they are ensuring that the public don’t face inconvenience and there’s no traffic disruption. “Adequate security deployed at all important entry/exit points to/from the district. We also deployed the PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) force. Officers are making the rounds in their respective areas and ensuring that no one imposes Bandh forcibly. Everyone has been instructed to ensure the security of railway stations, bus stands, metro stations and autos. We will strictly deal with anyone who takes law in their hands,” Kumar said.
3. Protests were held in Seoni-Malwa area in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh in support of the Bharat Bandh called by farmers’ unions against the Centre’s farm laws.
4. Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) remained closed in many parts of Maharashtra in support of the Bharat Bandh. Members of a farmers’ organisations also staged a ‘rail roko’ in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district.
5. Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday sat on a day-long hunger strike to support agitating farmers. Hazare also said the agitation should spread across the country so that the government comes under pressure to act in the interests of cultivators.
6. 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.
7. Delhi Police on Tuesday tightened security at all border points and made arrangements to maintain law and order across the city, including market places, officials said.
8. All examinations scheduled for Tuesday, under Osmania University’s jurisdiction have been postponed, the varsity administration said.
9. Azadpur mandi, one of the largest wholesale markets for fruits and vegetables in the country, along with all others in the national capital will remain shut on Tuesday in support of the Bharat Bandh, its chairman Adil Ahmed Khan said, according to news agency ANI.