A four-hour ‘Bharat Bandh’, called by agitating farmers seeking repeal of the new agriculture laws, was observed peacefully in several areas across the country. The Indian Express takes a look at the response in some of the states.
Punjab: Farmers assembled at highways and other key roads since morning. Shops and commercial establishments were closed as were thousands of fuel pumps. Over 50,000 government employees took mass casual leave, said Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association president Sukhchain Khaira. The bandh saw an outpouring of support from urban areas. Even the industrial town of Ludhiana, which usually never rises to such calls, saw many support the bandh.
Haryana: Most of the important roads were blocked, business establishments remained shut and there were major protests in several areas. Farmers took hookahs to the roads amid singing performances by folk singers. Haryana DGP Manoj Yadav said Sirsa, Kaithal, Fatehabad, Jind and Rohtak were most affected. Meanwhile, CM Manohar Lal Khattar had to cancel his scheduled programme in Padha village of Karnal district as a group of villagers vandalised the helipad area and the venue on the night intervening of Monday and Tuesday.
Rajasthan: While most mandis in different cities remained closed, there was a mixed response in markets. DCP (Jaipur South) Manoj Kumar said there was an altercation between NSUI and BJYM workers near the BJP office but the police intervened. “Some closed their shops for some time to avoid confrontation with bandh supporters,” said Atul Ahuja, member of a trader association from Jaipur.
Uttar Pradesh: While mandis remained closed, several shops opened shutters and transport services plied as usual. Additional DGP (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said nearly 1,300 people were detained for “causing mismanagement, halting traffic or violating the issued guidelines”. In Bareilly, the police used force to disperse a few protesters sitting at the Gandhi statue, leaving a few injured. SP workers held dharnas in several areas across the state, a day after party chief Akhilesh Yadav was detained while he was on his way to Kannauj to launch his Kisaan Yatra.
Maharashtra: All major APMCs such as Navi Mumbai, Nashik and others were shut while shops were closed in Nashik, Solapur, Sangli, Aurangabad, Latur, Beed, Amravati and other areas. However, traffic movement was smooth in most areas. In Buldhana, Ravikant Tupkar and hundreds of workers of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana protested on the railway tracks of Malkapur railway station.
Odisha: Business establishments and government offices remained closed until late afternoon and public transport was off the roads. Sporadic protests were held across the state with rail services disrupted on the Cuttack line.
Assam: The call evoked a mixed response with most offices functioning while shops remained shut and protesters blocked traffic. Dozens of protesters were detained in various parts of the state, while the movement of fuel tankers was affected.
Madhya Pradesh: The bandh was effective in the northern regions, including Gwalior-Chambal. More than half of the mandis were shut across the state.
Tamil Nadu: The shutdown did not hit normalcy in the state but affected routine in Puducherry, where it evoked a near total response.
Karnataka: Protests were held across the state but did not affect normalcy except around protest venues.
With ENS inputs from Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Bhopal, Bengaluru & PTI
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