Chandigarh: Farmers of Punjab and Haryana took to the streets on Friday against the passage of the controversial agricultural bills from Parliament recently. The protesting farmers blocked the roads including the national highway with a view to pressurizing the Center to withdraw the bills. Please tell that these bills are yet to be approved by the President. Also Read – Those who made hollow promises to farmers for decades are now firing guns on their shoulders: PM Modi
Ordinary commuters of both the states had to face problems after protesters blocked roads. The farmers of Punjab demonstrated under the ‘bandh’ called against the Bills. The call for “Punjab Bandh” got the support of government employees’ unions, singers, artisans, laborers and social workers. Also Read – Kisan Bill 2020: Unique way of shutting down India, road jammed while sitting on buffalo and farmers lying on railway tracks
Shops, business establishments, vegetable markets and other places remained closed in support of farmers. The shopkeepers had appealed to keep the shops closed in support of the farmers. The farmers started a three-day ‘rail stop’ protest against the bills on Thursday and staged a sit-in on the tracks. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that the state government is fully with the farmers in the fight against the bills and no FIR will be filed for violation of section 144. Also Read – Bharat Bandh Live Update: Skirmishes during demonstration in Bihar, beating of Pappu Yadav workers with sticks
31 farmers organizations have joined hands under the aegis of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) for a complete Punjab bandh. Indian farmer organizations that are supporting the bandh include many groups of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti, Kirti Kisan Union and Bharatiya Kisan Union. Buses of the Punjab government corporation Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) were missing from the roads on Friday.
The ruling Congress and the opposition AAP have supported the farmers’ demonstrations in the state, while the Shiromani Akali Dal has announced a road blockade. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has described the passage of agricultural bills as a step taken in the wrong direction. He tweeted, “Farmers are the foundation of our society and the Agriculture Bill recently passed by the Central Government is a step in the wrong direction. Together we should pressurize the Center to withdraw the anti-farmer bills. ”
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal protested by driving a tractor in Muktsar district. On this occasion, former Union Minister and his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal were sitting on the tractor with him. The tractor march led by Sukhbir Singh came out of his Badal village residence and it ended in Lahi where the party had organized a protest against the bill.
Many Punjabi singers, including noted singers Harbhajan Mann and Ranjit Bawa, participated in the farmers’ performance at Nabha. In many parts of the state, farmers gathered to stop road traffic. Women protesters demonstrated in Amritsar under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti. In Barnala district, farmers set fire to tractors against agricultural bills.
In Punjab, farmers blocked the Sangrur-Patiala, Chandigarh-Bathinda, Ambala-Rajpura-Ludhiana and Moga-Ferozepur roads. Darshan Pal, President of the Revolutionary Farmers Union, said that he is getting the support of many people including traders, transporters, taxi drivers. Meanwhile, farmers in Haryana blocked the Rohtak-Jhajjar road. Farmers demonstrated in many places of the state including Rewari, Yamunanagar.
Officials said that additional security forces have been deployed at Ambala and Panipat railway stations. Several organizations, including the Bharatiya Kisan Union in Haryana, have supported the nationwide bandh called by the farmers’ organization. Officials said that adequate security personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order in the state.
The protesters have expressed fears that the Center’s agricultural reforms will end the system of minimum support price (MSP) and the agricultural sector will go into the hands of big capitalists. The farmers have said that they will continue their fight till all the three bills are withdrawn. The Parliament passed the Agricultural Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill-2020 and the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance Agreement and Agreement on Agricultural Services Bill-2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill this week.