Bharat Band, farmer protest on

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a front of farmer unions protesting against the contentious farm laws, has called for a complete Bharat Bandh on Friday, which will be observed the entire day today, from 6 am till 6 pm, to marking the completion of 4 months of agitation is in effect. During this, rail and road transportation services are likely to be affected and markets may remain closed in parts of the country on Friday. Farmers’ unions have also blocked Bhai Ghaniya Chowk in Bhatinda, an intersection that connects the city with Amritsar, Chandigarh, and Ferozepur, as well as Rajasthan. Farmers blocked the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh Ghazipur border in view of the 12-hour bandh call. The Delhi Police have assured that arrangements have been made to ensure normal life is not disrupted due to the bandh. In Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad, traders’ bodies have decided to stay ‘neutral’. Among southern states, the blockade is likely to be most effective in Andhra Pradesh, where the ruling YSR Congress has extended its support to the bandh call. SKM leader Darshan Pal said that supplies of vegetables and milk will also be stopped by the protesting farmers. However, emergency services like ambulance and fire will be allowed during the nationwide shutdown. The impact of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ will be felt in Haryana and Punjab. The SKM has appealed to people in the poll-bound states and Union Territory of Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, and Puducherry to not observe the Bandh. Apart from repealing the three farm laws, the demands of the protesting union include cancellation of all police cases against farmers, withdrawal of electricity bill and pollution bill, and reduction in prices of diesel, petrol, and gas. According to the report, there have been 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and government, but deadlock continued as both sides stuck to their stand.

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