Patiala/Bathinda, Sept 27
Commuters in the Malwa belt on Monday were at the receiving end of the Bharat Bandh called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) as national and state highways were blocked by protesters.
In Patiala, offices and private establishments remained closed, while farmers forcibly entered banks and asked them to shut down.
Commuters were seen walking in search of conveyance on Patiala-Bathinda national highways as all state-run buses remained off road. Government employees scrambled to reach their offices. Army vehicles were also not allowed by protesters at some places, though union leaders had appealed to protesters not to cause any problems to commuters.
From the mandis to the district courts and Punjabi University campus, work remained suspended throughout the city.
In Fatehgarh Sahib, a complete bandh was observed in the district and all commercial establishments, shops and schools remained closed. Industrial units operated as usual.
Farmers protested at 19 places in Bathinda and nine places in Mansa. In Bathinda, farmers staged protest on Bathinda-Chandigarh NH-7 and Bathinda-Amritsar NH-54. Besides, farmers blocked rail tracks at Rampura Phul and Maur. Traders, arhtiyas, lawyers and all political parties, barring the BJP, supported the bandh. Employee unions also joined the protesters in Bathinda and Mansa.
In Faridkot, the bandh call got a good response with mass participation from the rural areas. In Ludhiana, farmers completely blocked Ladhowal Toll Plaza on National Highway 44. Passengers remained stranded at the Ludhiana Railway Station and Bus Stand. In Muktsar district, protests were held at 19 places. In Ropar, the bandh passed off peacefully. The blockades were lifted at 4 pm at all places. — TNS
(With inputs from Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Faridkot, Muktsar & Ropar)
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