Farmers Protest, Bharat Bandh HIGHLIGHTS: A day before the sixth round of talks with the government over the contentious new farm laws, the agitating farmer unions will launch a symbolic ‘Bharat Bandh’ today which has been backed by almost over 15 opposition parties and several trade unions. The farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh who have been protesting at Singhu border near Delhi for the last 12 days, will block key roads during their ‘chakka jam’ protest from 11 am to 3 pm as part of their stir.
“There will be complete ‘Bharat bandh’ till 3 pm Tuesday, but emergency services will be allowed,” farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal told reporters. Rajewal reiterated the farmers’ stand, saying they will not accept anything less than the withdrawal of the three new farm laws by the Centre.
Meanwhile, the Centre has asked all states and Union Territories to tighten security and ensure that peace and tranquillity is maintained during ‘Bharat Bandh’. In a countrywide advisory, the Union Home Ministry also said the state governments and UT administrations must ensure that the COVID-19 guidelines issued with regard to health and social distancing are strictly followed.
Apart from heavy police deployment at key border areas, Delhi Police will deploy personnel “outside offices of all political parties, the Agriculture Minister’s residence and Krishi Bhawan” to ensure law and order is maintained. On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, along with his cabinet colleagues, met farmers at the Singhu border where he reviewed arrangements at the protest site. The AAP, along with 14 other opposition parties have extended support to the December 8 Bharat Bandh call by the farmers to protest against the three contentious ordinances.