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“Bharat Bandh live updates” ; Protesting farmer unions blocks vehicles

Punjab; Disagreeing farmer organizations under the flag of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) have summoned for a Bharat Bandh on Friday, to consider the four-month anniversary of their unrest on the boundaries of Delhi and reiterate their need to abolish three controversial farm laws. The strike proposal will be in impact from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Punjab and Haryana, crowds of farmers began sit-in protests, or dharnas, on important roads, including national and state highways, as well as besides railway tracks at several spots. The movement of vehicles was interrupted in parts of the two States, which have been at the lead of the protests. Public transport, including buses and taxis, remained off the roads. SKM members will conduct dharnas at 120 places in Punjab.

In Delhi, police said that traffic was blocked on both carriageways of National Highway 24 at the Ghazipur boundary intersecting to Uttar Pradesh. A group of SKM farmers has fixed up camp at the frontier for the last four months.“The roads on which the farmers are protesting near Delhi are already blocked. During this time, alternative routes were created. These routes will also be blocked from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during [the] Bharat Bandh,” said a comment from SKM leader Darshan Pal. At least five disturbance points have also been recognized within the city, with demonstrations to start by 11 a.m. This will also be the primary main agitation within the city since the Republic Day tractor parade.

In a request to dodge the sort of turmoil and disorder witnessed on January 26, the SKM asked protesters not to get connected in any sort of illegal discussion and conflict. “It is a result of the patience of the farmers that the movement has gone so long and we are constantly getting successes,” it said. The central trade unions are backing the protest, along with some transport unions and retail trader organizations. In Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, CITU workers said they had successfully blocked the seaport.

The nationwide bandh appeal forced shops, malls, markets, and institutions to remain shut. Protesters plan to obstruct road and rail transport and suspend services, except for ambulances and other emergency services. Apart from the abolition of the three farm laws, the SKM is necessitating a new rule to guarantee minimum support prices and acquisition of their product, a rollback of the Electricity Bill, and a rule on pollution in the capital, which criminalizes stubble burning.

The group also asked that all police cases against opposing farmers be reversed and summoned for the reduction of petrol, diesel, and gas prices. Thousands of farmers, chiefly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, have dwelled on the outskirts of Delhi since November 26, although their numbers have decreased in recent weeks. Despite 11 series of discussions with the Centre, no decision has been given. The Supreme Court has deferred the implementation of the three farm laws and placed up a committee to investigate the issue, which is due to present its report soon.

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