On the 25th of September, several farmer’s organisations called for a nation wide bandh.
The Bharat Bandh by farmer’s supported by 18 political parties including the Indian National Congress (INC.)
Farmers across India would take to streets protesting against three farm bills passed by the Parliament.
Since the 21st of September when the Parliament passed two bills which would affect Minimum Support Price (MSP.)
Punjab and Haryana will be the epicentre of the protests. The farmers are protesting and demanding legal guarantee of minimum support prices.
Farmers organisations affiliated to the Rashtriya Sevak Sangh (RSS) also supported the protest and demanded amendments in the two bills. However, the RSS affiliated farmers’ organizations like Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, Swadeshi Jagran Manch would not take part in the protest today.
Other organisations like All India Farmers Union (AIFU), Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), All India Kisan Mahasangh (AIKM), and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) also extended support and announced a nationwide bandh.
Farmers bodies from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have also called for a shutdown in their respective states.
Besides farmers organisations, ten central trade unions, the All India Trade Union Congress, the National Trades Union Congress, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, the All India United Trade Union Centre and the Trade Union Coordination Centre also extended support.
The political parties opposing the two farmers bills also extended support to the nation wide bandh.
The political parties which supported the bandh are: the Indian National Congress (INC,) the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP,) National Communist Party (NCP) the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK,) the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC.)
In total, 18 parties extended support and urged the President of India to not approve the bill.
Captain Amrinder Singh Gill, the Chief Minister of Punjab, urged all farmers to maintain law and social distancing due to the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19.
In addition, the Punjab CM also said there would be no FIR against farmers for violating Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) during the protest.
Due to the nation wide bandh, as many as fourteen special passenger trains running from the railways’ Ferozepur division were cancelled from the 24th to 26th of September.
The decision to suspend trains was taken in the view of the farmers’ three day rail roko protest.
The trains that were suspended include Golden Temple Mail (Amritsar-Mumbai Central), Jan Shatabdi Express (Haridwar-Amritsar), New Delhi-Jammu Tawi, Sachkhand Express (Nanded-Amritsar), and Shaheed Express (Amritsar-Jaynagar.)
The farmers organizations have decided to go for an indefinite rail blockage from 1st of October.
In addition, Delhi-Haryana border is also likely to be sealed due to the massive protest. Delhi-Haryana border is likely to be sealed as protesters can march towards the capital city. Delhi Police is on high alert.
Besides all the protests in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would also support by observing a three hour chakka jam (road blockade) across Punjab from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., in all constituencies.
The protest is underway in India.
Stay tuned for further updates.