Bharat Bandh: Delhi-UP Traffic Affected, Trains Cancelled

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The ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by farmer unions to mark the first anniversary of the enactment of the centre’s three farm laws met with mixed response.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which gave the call for the nationwide bandh in a statement today said there has been “an unprecedented response, beyond anyone’s expectations”.

The bandh, which began at 6 am today caused disruptions in traffic movement of Delhi and neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab. About 25 trains have been affected due to the Bharat Bandh called by farm unions on Monday to protest the Centre’s three farm laws, officials said.

“Our ‘Bharat Bandh’ was successful. We had the full support of farmers… We can’t seal down everything as we have to facilitate the movement of people. We are ready for talks with govt, but no talks are happening,” BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said.

Traffic movement at the Ghazipur border and the Dhansa Border were affected with Delhi Traffic Police closing vehicular movement on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh Ghazipur border for both carriageways.

Massive traffic snarls were seen at Gurugram-Delhi border as vehicles entering the national capital were checked by Delhi Police and paramilitary jawans. The Delhi Noida Direct (DND) flyway also witnessed massive traffic congestion.

However, the police later said that the situation at the Gurugram-Delhi border and DND returned to normal. Rail operations were also affected by the bandh with services of as about 25 trains getting affected.

According to the Northern Railway, the rail operations in Delhi, Ambala and Firozepur divisions were impacted by people sitting on tracks.

Several states witnessed protests against the farm laws and supported the bandh called by the farmers union. Heavy police presence was seen across the county to maintain law and order. The police used barricades and large-sized stones to barricade the roads and highways.

However, exemptions to the bandh include all emergency establishments and essential services, including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies. The Bharat Bandh garnered support from more than 500 farmer organizations, 15 trade unions, political parties, six state governments and varied sections of society.

State governments of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have extended their support to the Bharat Bandh protest. So far, left parties like the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party and many other parties like Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal (Secular), Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, SAD-Sanyukt, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Swaraj India and others have extended their support to the Bharat Bandh.

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.

(With ANI Inputs)

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