Bharat Bandh: Massive response in Punjab and Haryana; road, train traffic hit
Traders pulled down the shutters of their business establishments in almost every town and city in Punjab and Haryana though the response was less visible in Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh
The Bharat Bandh call by the farmers’ unions received a massive response in Punjab and Haryana and a lukewarm response in Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh on Monday.
During the 10-hour nationwide shutdown, thousands of farmers including their families blocked the main state roads, highways, national highways and GT Road connecting the national Capital Delhi to the region press for their demand to scrap the three farm laws.
The traders pulled down the shutters of their business establishments in almost every town and city in Punjab and Haryana though the response was less visible in Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. Government and private offices functioned normally.
The bandh remained peaceful as no untoward incident was reported across these states. Emergency medical services were exempted from the blockade.
However, vehicular traffic across Punjab and Haryana was hit severely for several hours as farmers, farm labourers, commission agents, trade and employee unions and activists of political parties squatted on national highways from 6 am to 4 pm. The interstate buses plied only after the situation became normal.
In Himachal Pradesh, farmers staged protests in Shimla, Kullu, Kangra, Una, Solan, Bilaspur, Mandi and Sirmaur districts.
Heavy police presence was seen at various places in Haryana and Punjab to maintain law and order. Traffic was diverted at several places by the police as the roads and highways were blocked by the agitating farmers.
The Amritsar-bound Howrah Mail coming from Kolkata was stopped by the railway authorities, while the Jammu-bound Begampura Express had to be halted at Phagwara. The Begampura Express had no scheduled halt at Phagwara but it had to be stopped due to a track blockade near Jalandhar.
The Amritsar-Katihar Express, the Saharsa-Amritsar Express and the Uchahar Express trains were halted at the Ambala Cantonment railway station, while the Ambala-Saharanpur passenger train was halted at the Jagadhri railway station. The Delhi- Kalka Shatabdi Express was also stopped.
At the Karnal railway station, the Swaraj Express train headed to Jammu was halted. Three trains were also halted at the Kurukshetra railway station. The locals also served “langar” to passengers at Karnal railway station where they had been stranded there for a long time.