WHILE THOUSANDS of protesting farmers are currently sitting on Delhi’s borders in protest against the controversial farm laws, their supporters in Haryana villages are gearing up to ensure that the December 8 ‘Bharat Bandh’ is a success.
Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Gurnam Singh Chaduni has urged shopkeepers and businessmen to keep their shops and business entablements closed till 3 pm on Tuesday, adding that the roads may be closed for three hours — 12 pm to 3 pm.
“This agitation is aimed to save the country. It’s not the agitation of farmers only but of every section of society. Every section of society will get affected because of these laws. We have to maintain complete peace in the agitation. If any miscreants are found, they should be handed over to the police,” Chaduni appealed to farmers.
The khap leaders in Jind have announced that they will block all roads leading to Delhi from Haryana by parking tractors in the middle of roads apart from barricading them. They have even formed 21 member committees for each of the villages.
A farmer leader from Bhiwani, Dayanand Poonia, said that farmers will gather at Siwani town to stage their protest. With senior farmer leaders camping on the Delhi borders, this time the responsibility to lead the agitation has fallen on the local leaders and farmers. There are indications that the farmers may block roads in villages too.
With arhtiyas (commission agents) at mandis already supporting the stir, the agitators are hoping for support from shopkeepers too, especially when the Opposition including the Congress, INLD and AAP have extended support to the bandh call.
Local leaders who have recently left the BJP or JJP in support of the farmers stir, have also become active to ensure a successful bandh.
“There will be no supply of essential commodities including milk and vegetables to urban areas from villages on Tuesday as part of the bandh call. Not only farmers, traders and employees will also join the stir,” former Narnaund MLA Ram Bhagat Sharma told The Indian Express. Sharma recently left the saffron party stating he stands by the protesting farmers.
A Sirsa leader Surender Nehra, who also left BJP in support of farmers, said he will be active in Sirsa and Rania on Tuesday to appeal to shopkeepers to close their shops. “The farmers agitation is getting support because every section of society is dependent on the farming community,” he added.
A former JJP leader from Badhra, Vijay Mandola said, “We will gather in Charkhi Dadri town to stage protest. No movement of vehicles on roads will be allowed as part of the Bharat Bandh.”
Farmers are getting support from other sections of society too. Indian Association of Lawyers (IAL) secretary Ashwani Bakshi said they have extended support to the Bharat Bandh call. “We request all lawyers to hold protest march in support of the agitator farmers on Tuesday,” Bakshi added. The lawyers of Hisar have announced to hold a dharna in front of the local mini secretariat. The Haryana Petroleum Dealer Welfare Association has already announced to keep petrol pumps closed on Tuesday.
Road jams may impact almost all districts: Police
Almost all districts in the state except Nuh and Narnaul are likely to be impacted by big or small road jams during the nation-wide Bharat Bandh call on Tuesday, police have anticipated.
There may also be disruptions on various toll plazas in the state. According to police, the main national highways — Delhi-Ambala (NH-44), Delhi-Hisar (NH-9), Delhi-Palwal (NH-19) and Delhi to Rewari (NH-48) — may also see some traffic disruptions for a short time. The peak time of impact is expected to be between 12 pm to 3 pm.
Police have issued a comprehensive travel advisory for the general public as “they may face traffic blockages, while travelling on various roads and highways”.
Haryana ADGP (law and order) Navdeep Singh Virk said, “According to reports, it is expected that agitating groups may sit on dharna on various roads and highways, within Haryana and blockade them for some time…All districts have also been advised to issue local advisories in this regard.”
Virk said elaborate arrangements have been made by civil and police administration in Haryana, as per directions of the state government.
“The primary objective is to maintain public peace and order, prevent any kind of violence, maintain supply of essential items and facilitate the functioning of traffic and public transport system…We are mobilising the police force, which will also conduct patrolling.”
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