Bharat Bandh: As stir intensified in Punjab, Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur led the farmers’ protest in Lambi, Punjab. Addressing the protest rally, Badal called for state chief minister’s intervention. He said, ” Punjab CM should call an immediate cabinet meeting & pass an ordinance to declare the State as one ‘Mandi’ to ensure recently passed agricultural Bills not enforceable in Punjab.”
The Bharatiya Kisan Union and several other organizations on Friday began their nationwide demonstration and “chakkajam” against the three contentious farm legislations which were passed by Parliament earlier this week. Police personnel in adequate strength were deployed across Punjab and Haryana to ensure law and order, officials told news agency PTI.
As many as 31 farmer organisations joined the call for a complete shutdown in Punjab. Some farmers gathered across several locations to disrupt vehicular movement while the others held protest marches. On Thursday, 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.
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.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were passed by the Parliament earlier this week.