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Farmers block highways during Bharat Bandh

Commercial establishments and industries are likely to be affected as the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of over 40 farm unions spearheading the farmers’ agitation, has called a Bharat Bandh on Monday to mark the first anniversary of the enactment of the three farm laws.

IMAGE: Farmers stage a road roko at Ghazipur border during Bharat Bandh against the three farm laws. Photograph: ANI

Delhi-Meerut Expressway was blocked near the Ghazipur protest site, affecting the traffic coming from Uttar Pradesh.

Farmers have also blocked the Shambhu border between Punjab and Haryana.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has beefed up security in border areas of the national capital in view of the Bharat Bandh.

A senior police officer said adequate security arrangements have been made to maintain the law an order situation and prevent any untoward incident in the national capital during the bandh.

 

Patrolling has been intensified, extra personnel have been deployed at the pickets especially across the border areas and every vehicle entering the national capital is being thoroughly checked, according to the police.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav said, “In view of Bharat Bandh, adequate security arrangements have been made as a precautionary measure. Pickets at the border areas have been strengthened and all vital installations, including India Gate and Vijay Chowk have adequate deployment.”

No protester is being allowed to enter Delhi from the three protest sites at the city’s borders, the official said.

IMAGE: A road wears deserted look during farmers’ Bharat Bandh in Thiruvananthapuram. Photograph: ANI

“The security is preventive and we are fully alert. There is no call for Bharat Bandh in Delhi, but we are watching the developments and adequate number of personnel are on ground,” another officer said.

Police personnel have been deployed on all roads leading to Delhi through villages near border areas while all vehicles are being checked at the pickets, they said.

The SKM has said that the nationwide strike will be observed from 6 am to 4 pm on Monday.

The SKM had also asked political parties to “stand with farmers in their quest to defend principles of democracy and federalism”.

IMAGE: Various organizations protest outside Kalaburagi Central bus station as farmer organisatons call for Bharat Bandh against three farm laws. Photograph: ANI

“As this historic struggle completes 10 months, SKM has called Monday (September 27) to be observed as Bharat Bandh against the anti-farmer Modi government,” the SKM had said in a statement.

“The SKM appeals to every Indian to join this nationwide movement and make Bharat Bandh a resounding success. In particular, we appeal to all organisations of workers, traders, transporters, businessmen, students, youth and women and all social movements to extend solidarity with the farmers that day,” it said.

During the bandh all government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments as well as public events and functions will be closed throughout the country, it had said.

All emergency establishments and essential services, including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies will be exempted.

IMAGE: Security tightened in Amritsar during farmers’ Bharat Bandh. Photograph: ANI

The Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Samajwadi Party, the Telugu Desam Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Left parties and the Swaraj India have backed the bandh call.

Farmers from different parts of the country, especially Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi borders since November last year, demanding the repeal of the three contentious farm laws that they fear would do away with the Minimum Support Price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

The government, however, has been projecting the three laws as major agricultural reforms. Over 10 rounds of talks between the two parties have failed to break the deadlock.

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