Chakka jam brings life to halt in Punjab

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5

The ‘chakka jam’ organised by farm unions was a success with hundreds of farmers blocking all national and state highways, besides other important link roads in the state.

Highways blocked, commuters suffer

  • Ludhiana: All three main highways around the city — Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road, Jalandhar-Ludhiana GT Road (NH-44) and Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road (NH-95) — remained blocked for over four hours with traffic going haywire
  • Motorists, private vehicles, buses and trucks remained stranded on the highways and commuters had to face a lot of inconvenience during the stir
Members of various farm unions stage protests by blocking national highways in Bathinda and Amritsar districts on Thursday. Tribune photos: Pawan sharma & Vishal kumar

The farm unions were responding to a call for a nationwide bandh given by the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Committee, wherein over 300 farm unions across the country are learnt to have responded by blocking roads for five hours today. The farmers are protesting against the three laws enacted by the BJP-led government, and are demanding that these be revoked as the laws “favour corporates”.

Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary of BKU (Dakaunda), said, “We are now going to prepare for our rally in Delhi on November 26-27. Most clearances for the rally have already been obtained.”

Farmers blocked roads at various points in Bathinda and Mansa districts as part of the nationwide protest against the three farm laws. The farmers had called for a blockade to national and state highways in the state.

Residents put up a poster in Behniwal village in Mansa district boycotting the entry of politicians. Tension erupted during a protest at Kanhaiya Chowk on the Bathinda-Amritsar national highway as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers headed by district president Navdeep Singh Jeeda reached there to participate in the protest. A heated spat took place between farmers and AAP leaders as the former accused the AAP workers of staging a parallel protest. However, AAP leaders denied doing any such thing.

A massive protest was witnessed on the railway track leading to Talwandi Sabo Thermal Plant at Baniwala in Mansa district. The protest was headed by senior vice-president of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) Jhanda Singh Jethuke.

Talking to The Tribune, Jethuke said, “All parties are playing politics on the issue. Why can’t these parties stage a protest in Delhi? Today, we put up road blockades at 35 places, including Sangrur, Bathinda, Mansa, Barnala, Patiala and Ludhiana.”

In Patiala, a huge gathering of farmers was witnessed at the thermal power plant in Rajpura while protests were also held at over 12 places, including Shutrana, Passiana, Samana, Kalyan village and Baran villages. The protest also received support from students, teachers of universities and others.

Women and children also participated in huge numbers in the nationwide protest.

Sucha Singh of BKU (Dakaunda) said, “The protest received good response from everyone. All unions of Haryana and Punjab will hold a meeting and decide the next step in this regard on November 14.”

In Ferozepur, farmers blocked the National Highway-54 near Bangali Bridge and the Ferozepur-Fazilka GT Road near Guddardandi village in Guruharsahai subdivision.

In Muktsar, a large number of farmers gathered at Lambi village, Bathinda Chowk in Malout town, Bharu Chowk in Gidderbaha, Markfed factory in Gidderbaha and near a private petrol station on the Malout-Bathinda highway in Gidderbaha and protested against the farm laws. Similar protests were seen in other districts as well.

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