The Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s (SKM) agitating farmers gathered at Muzaffarnagar on 5th September for a ‘Kisan Maha Panchayat’. They unanimously announced a complete 10 hours (6 am in the morning to 4 pm evening) general strike Bharat Bandh on 27 September to mark the first anniversary of the three controversial farm laws getting Presidential assent passed by Parliament in September last year.
The farmers demanded the cancelation of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill and handing over the legal right to MSP for all the crops. The umbrella union of the farmers who are protesting against these three laws for around 10 months now has garnered support from all sections of the society, including National political parties. Many organizations, farmer’s associations, laborers, trade unions, youths, teachers, celebrities, and others joined the Bharat Bandh.
The Delhi Police arranged extra force and increased patrolling near the borders of the national capital. The security is inhibitory and completely vigilant. The Delhi Police has informed that protesters are not allowed to enter the city from the three protest sites at the border. Deepak Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi), said in his statement in the view of Bharat bandh, that sufficient security arrangements have been made as a safety measure. Protesters at the border areas have been intensified, and all the essential installations, including India gate and Vijay chowk, have enough deployment.
A police officer from the outer district said that they strictly checked all roads connecting Delhi through villages near border areas. All vehicles are thoroughly checked at the protest.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the coordinating organization leading the campaigning farmers, appealed to every Indian political force to join this countrywide movement and make the ‘Bharat Bandh’ an enormous success. Specifically, they appeal to all organizations, union traders, businessmen, students, transporters, youth and celebrities, and all social activists to enlarge unanimity with the farmers that day.
Many national parties like Congress, Aam Adami Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Kerela’s LDF, Telugu Desam, DMK, Rashtriya Janta Dal other and state governments like Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments have expressed their support to the Bharat Bandh, while Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has supported the bandh, Tejashwi Yadav leader and opposition from Bihar Assembly has declared that his participation in the protest.
The chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, announced his government’s complete support of the nationwide strike. The Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) announced that the bus service is remains suspended from 6 am to 3 pm on Monday. The union of All India Bank Officers has extended its support to the bandh. It has requested the government to communicate with the farmers on their demands and repeal the three laws at the center of the deadlock. The union said that its associated and state units would join in unanimity with the protesters all over the country on Monday.
The SKM cleared in their statement the themes for the protesting banners would be ‘Modi Brings in Mandi Bandh’, ‘Bharat Bandh against Anti-Farmer Modi Government’, ‘Farmers take up Bharat Bandh’, and more of the same.
As in the complete shutdown protest guideline, the SKM said that the Bharat Bandh would be peaceful and the public would face the least inconvenience; central and state government offices, markets, shops, factories, and educational institutions, commercial establishments are not allowed to open. Public and private transport won’t be allowed to commute on roads, and no public functions are allowed, but emergency establishments and essential services, including ambulances, hospitals, pharmacies, and rescue services, are allowed to function.
On Monday, protesting farmers blocked many highways and railway tracks in Punjab and Haryana.
Arvind Kejriwal requested the Centre to think about the demands of protesting farmers against the three farm laws. He further said that we are celebrating the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh who made a great sacrifice for the freedom of this nation. He did not struggle for freedom for a day when farmers would have to sit on the streets and protest.
About Bharat Bandh, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, informed the media that their Bharat Bandh was completely successful. He added that are ready to communicate with goverment, but no conversation is happening.
Further, he added that the governmentt has failed completely. Yogi Adityanath had promised in the manifesto about raising the value of sugarcane but still, he only increased Rs 25. Crops are not selling at the MSP rates. He should have given an account of the losses that farmers have faced.
National president Ravi Kant Garg of Bhartiya Udyog Vyapaar Mandal has said in his statement that the bandh is called by very few so-called farmers who have been practically sponsored by the opposition parties for their political benefits and is anti-development and without any sense, besides being against the interest of traders.