The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a coalition of farmers’ unions, has called for a Bharat Bandh today to mark the first anniversary of the enactment of the three farm laws. Today also marks the completion of 10 months since the farmer protests began. Commercial establishments and industries are likely to be affected, due to today’s Bandh.
SKM has said that the nationwide strike will be observed from 6 am to 4 pm today. During this period, all government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments as well as public events and functions will be closed throughout the country.
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. SKM has assured that the bandh will be enforced in a voluntary and peaceful manner.
“It was on September 27th that President Shri Ram Nath Kovind assented to and brought into force the 3 anti-farmer black laws last year. Tomorrow, there will be a total Bharat Bandh observed around the country from 6 am to 4 pm,” SKM said in an official statement.
In view of the protest, SKM has put out detailed guidelines and called for complete peace during the bandh. It also appealed to all citizens of the country to join the Bandh today.
Speaking to news agency ANI, SKM leader Rakesh Tikait said, “The roads will be closed, but if someone wants to go to the doctor’s clinic, they can go. Ambulances, vegetable and milk vehicles will run. Apart from that, everything will be closed. All traders and shopkeepers should support the bandh. We will not go inside Delhi during the bandh. Where there are toll blocks, they will be closed. This is the movement of the common people. People should take a day off and leave the house only after 4 o’clock.”
Meanwhile, 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.
Moreover, Central Trade Unions will organise a protest rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi at 11 am today. Several bar associations and local units of the All India Lawyers’ Union have extended their support.