Complete shutdown in Punjab’s Majha on Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s Bharat bandh call against farm laws

Commercial establishments and public transport remained shut at most places in Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts of Punjab in protest against farm laws
Farmers protest as part of the Bharat bandh call of Samyukt Kisan Morcha against the central government’s three farm laws in Amritsar district of Punjab on Monday. The Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts also witnessed similar protests.
Farmers protest as part of the Bharat bandh call of Samyukt Kisan Morcha against the central government’s three farm laws in Amritsar district of Punjab on Monday. The Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts also witnessed similar protests.
Published on Sep 28, 2021 02:29 AM IST
Copy Link
ByHT Correspondents, Amritsar

A complete shutdown was observed on Monday in the Majha region of Punjab as nearly all sections gave a good response to the Bharat bandh call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) in protest against the central government’s three controversial farm laws.

Commercial establishments, including shops, and public transport remained shut at most places in Amritsar and adjoining districts. In Amritsar, protesters staged dharnas, asking the shopkeepers and vendors to support the strike. They also moved around in vehicles calling for people to observe the protest.

However, the commuters had a tough time reaching their destinations.

The farmers owing allegiance to various organisations, including the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) and the Jamhuri Kisan Sabha, staged dharnas at more than 30 points on the national highways and other key roads till around 3pm. The protesters also laid siege to railway tracks in the district.

Sandeep, 27, a vegetable vendor from Tarn Taran, said he had to shell out 1,000 to an auto-rickshaw driver to bring his mother to a local Hospital for eye surgery. “My mother was slated to be operated on at 11am. We left Tarn Taran at 6am so that we could reach in time. Since no bus plied on their routes, we had to hire an auto-rickshaw,” he said.

Zain-ul- Abedeen, who runs a dhaba at Katra Ahluwalia, said, “I have to pay salaries of 5 workers. I can’t tell them that there was a strike for a day or two.”

The Golden Temple, however, witnessed a heavy rush of devotees despite the bandh. People were seen standing in long queues in front of the sanctum sanctorum.

Only a handful of shops in some narrow streets didn’t observe the ‘bandh’ and went about their business as usual.

In Tarn Taran district also, all services barring health facilities, remained closed till 4pm. The farmers under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee blocked around a dozen roads, including the Amritsar-Bathinda highway near Rasoolpur village. The farmers also blocked the Tarn Taran-Khemkaran and the Tarn Taran-Beas railway tracks. Some shopkeepers in Tarn Taran city also expressed their solidarity with the farmers. A similar situation was witnessed in Gurdaspur and Batala towns.

Traders, protesters come face to face in Pathankot

The shutdown also brought life to a standstill in Pathankot district, considered a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The farmers along with others staged a protest on the outskirts of the town, and the traders also kept their outlets shut.

But the situation turned tense in the Post Office Chowk market in the city when the agitating farmers came there on tractors to ensure all the shops were shut. Some shopkeepers gathered to oppose them and started raising slogans and refused to shut their shops. Police brought the situation under control and the protesters returned after some time.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, December 06, 2021