Bharat Bandh: Protests in several states against farm laws

New Delhi: To mark the first anniversary of the enactment of the three farm laws, Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a coalition of farmers’ unions, has called for a nationwide Bharat Bandh on Monday, September 27, 2021.

The governments of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have extended their support to the bandh, and the effect of protest was seen in these states.

In Andhra Pradesh, Left parties protested in front of the Vijayawada bus station to observe the Bharat Bandh.

“It is a national protest against policies of the Central government. Farmers are protesting for the last 10 months against the farm laws,” state secretary of CPI (M) P Madhu said.

In Karnataka, various organizations were seen protesting outside the Kalaburagi Central bus station in support of the bandh.

“Many organizations are supporting our farmers and participating in the nationwide call for bandh,” said protester K Neela.

The roads in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram wore a deserted look and shops are closed in as the trade unions affiliated to LDF and UDF have supported the call for Bharat Bandh.

Meanwhile, protesters agitating against the three farm laws broke police barricades in the Anna Salai area of Tamil Nadu’s Chenna, following which many agitators were detained by the police.

“Modi government has pass three anti-farmers legislatures. Farmers are continuously fighting against it for more than 11 months. If Modi is reluctantly denying the withdrawing of the legislation, the struggle will intensify further,” CPI (M) leader K Balakrishnan said, who was also detained in Chennai.

The Bharat Bandh garnered support from more than 500 farmer organizations, 15 trade unions, political parties, six state governments and varied sections of society.

Farmers have been protesting at different sites since November 26 last year against the three enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Farmer leaders and the Centre have held several rounds of talks but the impasse remains.