A day ahead of the sixth meeting with the Central Government against the newly enacted farm laws, farmers called for a nationwide “Bharat Bandh” from 11 AM to 3 PM tomorrow.
In view of the strike, the Central government sent an advisory to all the state governments and union territory (UT) administrators on Monday asking them to tighten security and maintain the law and order.
In the advisory, the Centre asked the state governments and UT administrations to ensure that protesters strictly adhere to all Covid-19 guidelines issued with regard to health and social distancing.
It also asked the states and UTs to take all precautionary measures in order to avoid any untoward incident in the country. The Centre’s main focus is on peace and tranquillity, which it said should be maintained.
According to the Delhi Traffic Police, borders along Singhu, Auchandi, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh borders are closed. NH-44 is closed on both sides. The Chilla border on Noida link road is closed from Noida to Delhi. The Gazipur border on NH-24 is closed for traffic from Gaziabad to Delhi. “Avoid Outer Ring Rd, GT Karnal road,” the Delhi Traffic police tweeted suggesting alternative routes.
The Bandh is likely to be most well-observed in Punjab, which has extended its full support. Sit-in protests, some by opposition parties supporting farmers, are likely in Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telanaga and northeastern states of Tripura and Assam, besides others. This is likely to create traffic congestions, and states are set to issue travel advisories. Gujarat has said it would act against those who try “to close shops and other establishments forcefully”.
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.