In Amritsar, farmers protest bare-chested; roads, railways blocked around 165 places in Punjab

Barring the essential, and emergency services—a total Bandh was observed and the streets wore a deserted look with a heavy vigil by the police at least at 40 different points

GS Paul 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 26 

An overwhelming response to Sanyukt Kisan Morcha’s ‘Bharat Bandh’ call was witnessed in the Majha region. 

In Amritsar, the farmers—under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC)—contested bare-chested against the three agricultural farm laws. 

They blocked the Amritsar-New Delhi railway track, the Jodha Phatak in Vallah, Amritsar-Jalandhar GT road while raising slogans against the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led Centre government, demanding to repeal the farm law, the Straw Act, and the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020, unconditionally. 

They insisted on the implementation of the law of Minimum Support Price (MSP) guaranteeing government procurement, and cancelling the false notices issued to the farmers. 

Remove the condition of taking fards (land record) by the government, and stop issuing challans on fines in the name of coronavirus. Barring the essential, and emergency services—a total Bandh was observed and the streets wore a deserted look with a heavy vigil by the police at least at 40 different points. 

In Tarn Taran, the Amritsar-Khemkaran, the Amritsar-TarnTaran-Beas rail route remained blocked. The milk supply, fodder, and vegetable supply too were suspended.

Though the government offices and Public oriented services were operational, there were scant applicants in public offices. Similarly, the rail track to Pathankot to Amritsar was blocked. Except for the banks and medicine, all services were stopped.  

KMSC state general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher claimed that thousands of farmers, labours with their family members, and youth took to jam the road and rail network.

“In Punjab’s 12 districts the trains and roads were disrupted at over 165 places. Besides in Amritsar where the main rail track was blocked, in Tarn Taran at 32 places, the rail and roads were blocked, in Gurdaspur, the blockade was being observed at 18 places, Ferozepur at 15 places, Hoshiarpur at two places, Kapurthala at five places, Jalandhar at five places, Moga at two places, and also at Fazilka, Muktsar and Faridkot”, he said.

Senior Vice President Sawinder Singh told that the Centre government attempted to discourage the farmers from agitation at Delhi borders under the pretext of the COVID-19 threat.

“Where was Covid spread threat factor when massive political rallies were being conducted? Moreover, nobody should bother as farmers were accustomed to doing hard physical labour and their immune system was enough to scare away any pandemic”, he added.

Farmer leaders said that the Modi government was not withdrawing the Agriculture Act under the pressure of WTO. 

“The ongoing struggle is not only against the Modi government but also against the imperialistic policy. It is a line that is drawn between the peasants-labour and the big corporate houses which intend to enter agriculture sector to gallop our land”, said another farmer Gurbachan Singh Chabba.

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