Bharat Bandh, Farmers Protest Today Live News Updates: In Punjab, farmer unions began a three-day ‘rail roko’ protest at six different locations in the state with 1,000 to 1,500 farmers sitting on the tracks at each protest site on Thursday.
After holding separate protests, the Bharatiya Kisan Union and several other organizations on Friday are holding a nationwide demonstration and “chakkajam” against three contentious farm legislations which were passed by Parliament earlier this week.
In Punjab, farmer unions began a three-day ‘rail roko protest ‘ at six different locations in the state with 1,000 to 1,500 farmers sitting on the tracks at each protest site on Thursday. The Railways partially cancelled 20 trains and short-terminated five trains till September 26 as protesters blocked rail tracks at various places, including Amritsar, Ferozepur, Sangrur, Barnala, Mansa and Nabha.
Farmer groups in Haryana have urged residents to observe a bandh from 10 am to 4 pm on Friday. However, the National Highways have been exempted from the bandh call.
On Thursday, the Congress supported the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by farmer organisations for Friday, saying millions of party workers stand in solidarity with the farmers’ cause and will participate in their dharnas. Chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Sujewala said that while farmers and farm labourers fill the stomachs of countrymen with their hard labour, the Modi government is attacking them and their fields.
Farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against three farm reform bills — The Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill — passed by the Parliament in the recently concluded Monsoon session. Last week, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, an MP of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of the BJP’s oldest allies, resigned from the Narendra Modi Cabinet, in protest against the bills.
While farmers are protesting against all three bills, their objections are mostly against the provisions of the first. And while there is no uniform demand among the protesters or a unified leadership, it emerges that their concerns are mainly about sections relating to “trade area”, “trader”, “dispute resolution” and “market fee” in the first bill.
As many as 31 farmers’ organisations, which have different ideologies and leanings, are to fight collectively against these Bills, and the first agenda on their common programme is the ‘Punjab Bandh Call’, slated for Friday (September 25). ( Indian Express )