Bharat bandh: Shutdown in Opposition-ruled states, BJP governments use force to crush Constitution Day protest

Normal life including public services such as banking, transportation and business came to a halt in different parts of the county due to a nationwide strike called by 11 workers’ organisations

NH Photo by Vipin
NH Photo by Vipin
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NH Political Bureau

Normal life including public services such as banking, transportation and business came to a halt in different parts of the county on Thursday due to a nationwide strike called by 11 workers’ organizations in protest against the economic policies of the Modi government. The call for the strike was supported by the Opposition parties also.

While an intense and aggressive protest by farmers took place at the Punjab-Haryana border, various organisations hit the street in Delhi, Rajasthan, Kerala and West Bengal demanding a roll back of the newly enacted farm laws.

As lakhs of farmers moved towards New Delhi as part of the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest on Thursday morning, BJP governments in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand used force to crush the protest, arresting more than 100 local farmer leaders while detaining several others and preventing movement through the states.

Haryana heavily barricaded its borders with Punjab and suspended bus services, while BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand stopped marching of farmers by using force. Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesting farmers in Haryana.

Intermittent clashes between police and farmers were reported from several parts of the Punjab-Haryana border.

News agency ANI reported that a drone camera was deployed for security surveillance at Delhi-Faridabad (Haryana) border.

Left-ruled Kerala saw a complete shutdown with government offices, businesses, markets and banks remaining shut. Though due to COVID-19 protocol, workers’ organisations refrained from holding mass congregations, buses kept away from roads. Metro services were also hit by the strike.

TMC-ruled West Bengal saw a complete shutdown with Left organizations hitting the street in several parts of the state.

As per media reports, vehicular movement was affected in Jadavpur, Garia, Kamalgazi, Lake Town and Dumdum areas as members of CITU and DYFI staged rallies in Kolkata and nearby areas.

Clashes between police and protesters were reported from Barasat in North 24 Parganas. Though services in Kolkata remained unaffected, trains were stopped as protesters took over the railway tracks across the state.

In JMM-ruled Jharkhand, Left organisations took out a march against the Modi government’s economic policies and farm laws.

Due to the day long strike, normal life was partially affected in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. With trade union activists staging road blockades, vehicular movement was disrupted in several cities in Odisha. Offices of the Reserve Bank of India and other central government establishments remained closed.

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