Farmer unions protesting against the Centre's three newly-enacted farm laws have called for a 'Bharat Bandh' (nationwide strike) on Friday as their protests at Delhi's three borders complete four months. The Bandh called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha will be observed for 12 hours from 6 am till 6 pm.
However, elections-bound states of West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, along with the Union Territory of Puducherry will be exempted from the country-wide shutdown.
Rail and road transportation services are likely to be hit and markets may remain closed in various parts of the country on Friday. In light of the bandh, the Delhi Police has also closed the Ghazipur border NH-24 (both carriageways) for traffic movement.
A 12-Hour 'Bharat Bandh' called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha; marking completion of 4 months of the agitation is in effect.— Kisan Ekta Morcha (@Kisanektamorcha) March 26, 2021
Emergency services like supply of milk, ambulance and hospital services will not be hit at all.
Lets make the movement a success.#à¤à¤_à¤à¤¾à¤°à¤¤_à¤¬à¤à¤¦_à¤¹à¥ pic.twitter.com/7JasW2cr2A
SKM leader Darshan Pal said that malls, markets, and supplies of vegetables and milk will also be stopped by the protesting farmers. Moreover, all minor and big roads and trains will be blocked. All services except for ambulance and other essential services will remain suspended on Friday.
However, the Confederation of All India Traders, representing 'eight crore traders' in the country, said that markets will remain open on March 26 as it is not participating in the strikes.
Supporting the Bharat Bandh called by the farmers, the Odisha government has declared the closure of all educational institutions across the state. Congress and Left parties will also support the 12-hour bandh that will be observed from 6 am.
This is the second ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the agitating farmers. Earlier, a nation-wide strike was called on December 8 and was observed in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Assam. Several trade unions and political parties had extended their support to the strike, including the Congress and NCP.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at the Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price on their crops.