Four-hour Bharat Bandh today: Centre issues advisory
A nationwide strike called by agitating farmer unions is likely to have an impact in many parts of north India and some non-BJP ruled states elsewhere, even as the farmer leaders said that no one should be forced to join the shutdown.
Appealing to everyone to join the “symbolic” bandh, farmer leaders said they will block key roads during their “chakka jam” protest from 11 AM to 3 PM. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have been protesting the Centre’s new farm laws at various Delhi border points since the last 12 days.
With almost all Opposition parties and several trade unions backing the “Bharat Bandh” and many announcing parallel protests in support of the farmers, the Centre has issued an advisory directing all the states and Union Territories to tighten security and ensure Covid-19 guidelines are followed on Tuesday. The railways too asked its personnel to step up vigil saying protesters may organise rail blockades in 16 states.
“Our bandh is different from that of political parties. It is a four-hour symbolic bandh for an ideological cause. We want that there should be no problem to the common people. We appeal to them not to travel during this period,” farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said. “We also urge shopkeepers to shut their outlets during this period,” he said.
Bhartiya Kisan Ekta Sangathan president Jagjit Singh Dallewala asked farmers to maintain peace and not to try enforce the shutdown. He said emergency services will be exempted during the bandh. The leader also claimed the bandh will be effective across the country. “The Modi government will have to accept our demands. We want nothing less than a withdrawal of the new farm laws,” farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said.