Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, September 25
The call of protest against the three contentious farm legislations given by farmer organisations brought life to a complete standstill in the district on Friday.
All markets of the city, including those selling essential commodities, chemists, etc, remained shut for the whole day. Fruit and vegetable markets and mandis also remained closed. The bus stand wore a completely deserted look with buses parked in the depots. Rail services remained completely paralysed.
SAD Ex-MLA Sarabjeet Makkar faces backlash
- A former MLA of the Akali Dal, Sarabjeet Makkar, faced backlash twice on Friday when he went to take part in protests. He first went to participate in the dharna near Rama Mandi Chowk which had a significant participation of the farmers. As soon as the Makkar’s supporters erected an SAD banner, farmers started leaving, saying they had thought the protest was being organised by the farm community and did not want to be a part of the Akali show.
- Later, Makkar went to PAP Chowk where he and his supporter were forced to leave the dharna amidst anti-Akali sloganeering. Makkar, along with his dozen-odd supporters, had sat on a dharna but were quickly spotted by farmer activists who urged them to leave. The farmers said they were angry with the SAD for continuing the alliance with the BJP in the Centre. Makkar, however, denied that he was forced to leave the protests.
Milkmen, however, delivered supplies in some areas in the morning. Since internal roads of the city were not blocked, some vehicles could be seen plying, but the overall traffic flow remained thin.
All national and state highways across the district were blocked by farmers with the biggest show held at PAP Chowk. The intersection is crucial as all traffic from Jalandhar towards Amritsar, Phagwara and Ludhiana gets stuck with a blockade here. Local representatives of 31 organisations held a protest here as Congress and Aam Aadmi Party leaders supported them with protests.
Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Pargat Singh, district Congress women wing chief Jasleen Sethi, director of the Punjab Medium Industries Development Board Malwinder Lucky, AAP leaders Sanjeev Sharma and Shiv Dyal Malli were among those who extended support to the farmers.
Besides PAP Chowk, protests were held on highways connecting Jalandhar with Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kapurthala, Nakodar, Shahkot and other neighbouring towns. Akali MLA Pawan Tinu addressed two gatherings of farmers at Adampur and Bhogpur. SAD district chief Kulwant S Manan held a show near Lidran on the Amritsar highway. A massive demonstration was held at Guru Ravidass Chowk.
PSPCL engineers wear black badges in offices
Other than politicians, youth and social activists, farmers also got a massive support from engineers of the PSPCL. The engineers wore black badges in their offices and said they were in support of farmers who were their potential customers. Harjinder Bansal, Deputy Chief Engineer, PSPCL, Jalandhar circle, said technocrats of the PSPCL, including SDOs and Chief Engineers, were in favour of the farmers as the Centre had not taken them into confidence before bringing out the Bills.
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