The protesting farmers have called for a nationwide shutdown on Tuesday against the new farm laws. The shutdown or bandh is likely to have an impact in parts of north India and some non-BJP ruled states elsewhere, even as the farmer leaders said that no one should be forced to join the shutdown.
With almost all opposition parties and several trade unions backing the ”Bharat Bandh” and many announcing parallel protests in support of the farmers, the Centre has issued an advisory directing all the states and Union Territories to tighten security and ensure COVID guidelines are followed. The railways too asked its personnel to step up vigil saying protesters may organise rail blockades in 16 states.
Appealing to everyone to join the “symbolic” bandh, farmer leaders said they will block key roads during their ”chakka jam” protest from 11 AM to 3 PM as part of their stir, which has drawn people from northern states especially Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi since the last 12 days.
Here are the live updates on farmers’ protests:
The Kerala government will not implement the contentious farm laws and will move the Supreme Court against them this week itself, Agriculture Minister VS Sunilkumar said in Thrissur on Monday.
“We will not implement the farm laws. The state government is ready to face any action to be taken by the central government. We will move the Supreme Court against these laws this week itself,” he told reporters.
He said the Centre’s move amounted to usurping the authority of state governments, which has been ensured by the Constitution.
A section of Haryana farmers have accepted in writing that they want the farm laws to stay, but with amendments. Representatives of three groups, which claimed to cumulatively represent 1,20,000 farmers from the state, met agriculture minister Narendra Tomar this evening, ahead of tomorrow’s all-India strike by farmers and the sixth meeting between the farmers and the Centre on Wednesday.
A letter signed by the three organisations read: “These bills should be continued as suggested by farmer organizations. We are in favour of MSP and mandi (specialised market) system as suggested by farmers’ organizations. But we request you to continue these laws with suggested amendments.”
The Haryana and Delhi Police have issued separate advisories on the traffic situation in view of the nation-wide “Bharat Bandh” called on Tuesday by farmers protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws.
Haryana Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk said that elaborate arrangements have been made by the civil and police administration, as per directions of the state government.
The Delhi Police said adequate arrangements have been made to ensure normal movement of people on roads during the “Bharat Bandh” on Tuesday. “Delhi Police has also issued a traffic advisory for smooth movement of vehicles and commuters. Anybody who tries to disrupt normal movement, life or forcefully closes shops will be strongly dealt with, as per the law,” Delhi Police (PRO) Eish Singhal said.
The “Bharat bandh” – a nationwide shutdown called for by farmers protesting the farm laws – will run from 11 AM to 3 PM, with transport services, offices and shops – particularly those selling fruits and vegetables – in some states and cities likely to be affected. Police in Delhi and Haryana, where large numbers of farmers have set up camp amid police barricades, have issued advisories to re-route traffic where possible or warn commuters of delays.
Farmer groups are also expected to block highways and occupy toll plazas, but they have emphasised this will be a “peaceful protest” and emergency services – like ambulances – will not be stopped or delayed.