Bharat Bandh: Fruit mandis in Kashmir observe complete shutdown
In support of the farmers’ protests against the contentious farm laws all fruit mandies across Kashmir, including the four big mandies in Sopore, Srinagar, Shopian and Anantnag, observed complete shutdown on Tuesday.
Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers-cum-Dealers Union chairperson Bashir Ahmad Basheer, who is also president of the New Kashmir Fruit Association, said the strike was successful. “In support of the protesting farmers, all shops in the Srinagar fruit mandi and other prominent fruit mandis remained suspended.”
Business in Asia’s second largest fruit market in Sopore also remained suspended as a group of growers staged a protest demanding revocation of the laws. The growers carried placards in solidarity with the protesting farmers. “Farmers are the backbone of any society. The new agri laws should be revoked and the demands of farmers accepted,” said the Sopore Fruit Mandi president.
This is the first time in recent times when fruit growers from Kashmir have extended support to any nationwide strike and observed protest and shutdown.
Congress misleading farmers, stoking fear over farm bills: Kavinder
The BJP on Tuesday accused the Congress of misleading farmers and stoking fear among them over farm bills.
Addressing election rallies in Chatha area, Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said, “The Congress and other parties through their fallacious propaganda are misleading the farming community by stoking fear among them.” .
Gupta said the Opposition had swayed the farming fraternity by making them believe the government was working against their interests and the hoax will soon be exposed. “It is hypocritical of Congress to protest farm laws as they passed the Contract Farming Act while they were in power. The party has even mentioned introduction of these laws in its manifesto”, he said.
Meanwhile, led by former minister Raman Bhalla, Congress activists held protest rallies against the farm laws. Bhalla appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put aside his other engagements and personally address the ‘genuine’ issues of agitating farmers. “The PM should resolve the issues of agitating ‘annadatas’ on top priority,” he said.