National Affairs

“Peaceful” Bharat Bandh From 11 AM-3 PM Tomorrow, Say Farmers

With growing support from trade unions and Opposition parties for tomorrow’s “Bharat Bandh” call, some services, including supply of fruits and venegatbles, could get affected in Delhi – now the epicentre of farmers’ protests – and the rest of the country. The call for a “peaceful” nationwide shutdown on December 8, a day ahead of the sixth round of talks between protesting farmers and the centre, is meant to mount pressure on the government to repeal three contentious agriculture reform laws. “The protest is to show that we don’t support some of the policies of the government,” Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said. Unions have said their protest is “peaceful and will continue that way”. Farmers urged people to extend their support non-violently and said their protest was not meant to “cause problems for the common man”. “Tomorrow’s Bharat Bandh is from 11 am to 3 pm. It is a symbolic protest. We will begin at 11 am so everyone can reach office on time… Services such as ambulance, even weddings, can go on. People can show their card and leave,” Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said. Supply truck movement could be hit in many states as all motor transport unions of India have come out in farmers’ support. They will organise peaceful demonstrations and try to submit memorandum to District Collectors and Commissioners to resolve the issues “amicably and to farmers’ satisfaction at the earliest”. A number of bank unions have called for a black-band protest to show support to farmers, but this is not likely to affect banking services. The Bandh is likely to be most well-observed in Punjab, which has extended its full support. Sit-in protests are likely in Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telanaga and northeastern states of Tripura and Assam, besides others. This is likely to create traffic congestions. BJP-ruled states are likely to issue travel advisories.

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