bandh: Farmers’ mobilisation in full swing ahead of bandh | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Mobilisation of farmers opposed to the new farm laws is in full swing for the nationwide strike on Monday and their presence at Singhu protest site along Delhi-Haryana border has swelled ahead of the scheduled ‘Bharat Bandh’.
Though their number, as explained by farmers, may slightly decrease during peak harvest season from October end to mid-November, they will be back after sowing Rabi (winter sown) crops, and be there at protest sites in bigger numbers to observe one-year of their movement at Singhu Border on November 26.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) — joint platform of farm unions spearheading the protest since November last year — has given a call for the nationwide strike on Monday and appealed to all organisations of workers, traders, transporters, businessmen, students, youth and women to participate in it voluntarily during 6am to 4pm on that day.
Considering support of political parties including Congress, and trade unions, the scheduled ‘Bandh’ is expected to be wider than the previous one as this time, the farm groups appear to be more organised in states beyond Punjab, Haryana, western UP and parts of Rajasthan.
As farmers geared up for ‘Bharat Bandh’, they on Saturday said they were determined not to leave the site till the government accepts their demand of repeal of three central farm laws.
“We’ll not leave the place till the government takes the laws back. No matter if we have to be here for another year,” said Sukhdev Singh, elderly farmer from Sahabana village of Ludhiana district in Punjab. He has been there at the Singhu Border protest site for the last 10 months.
Asked when he will go back as there doesn’t appear to be any solution to the issue after talks between farmer leaders and government ended in a stalemate in January, he said, “Ham jeet ke hi jayenge (we’ll go only after winning)”.
Every farmer TOI spoke to at the protest site shows the similar determination while flagging how their number has consistently been increasing and the road stretch they covered on highways has been getting longer.
Doesn’t it affect their farming operations? Young farmer Rajdeep Singh of Amritsar district said, “We have been joining the protest in rotation. I am here while my father and other family members are there in the village to look after farming operations. I’ll go back during the harvest season. But then my father and other villagers will join the protest”.
The SKM has appealed to close all government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments, public events and functions during 10 hours ‘bandh’ on Monday.
“Public and private transport shall also come to a halt during this period. All emergency establishments and essential services including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies will be exempted. Needless to emphasise, the Bandh will be enforced in a voluntary and peaceful manner,” said the SKM in a statement.

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