Farmer bodies declare Punjab bandh on Sept 25Updated: Sep 16, 2020 22:06 IST
Chandigarh/Amritsar Around 10 farmer organisations have given a call for Punjab Bandh on September 25 as a mark of protest against the “anti-farmer Bills being enacted by the Parliament. The decision was taken by the representatives of the farm bodies during a meeting in Ludhiana on Wednesday. All businesses, road and rail transport will be shut during the bandh, they said.
Farmer leaders said the ordinances related to the agriculture sector proposed by the Narendra Modi government, set to become laws soon, will sound a death knell for farmers and farm labourers. They said the struggle will continue till the ordinances were shelved.
To work out modalities for the bandh, a meeting of the farmer bodies has been convened on September 19 in Moga where representatives of organisations related to agriculture sector will chalk out a strategy to intensify the movement.
Ludhiana meeting was attended by leaders of Azad Kisan Sangharsh Committee; Jai Kisan Andolan; Punjab Kisan Sabha All India Kisan Sabha Punnawal, Punjab Kisan Sabha; Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakonda) and Kirti Kisan Union, among others.
Meanwhile, a delegation of farmers led by general secretary of a faction of Bharatiya Kisan Union, Harvinder Singh Lakhowal, staged a dharna outside the Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on Wednesday. They had sought an audience with the governor, which was denied. Lakhowal said farmer organisations will write messages on the walls in villages, urging villagers to not entertain politicians.
Blockades lifted from 3 Majha bridges
Farmers on Wednesday lifted the blockades on three main bridges of Majha region, taking cognisance of the ‘inconvenience’ they caused to the people. Farmers, however, have announced to intensify their protest against the ordinances.
Thousands of farmers, under the banner of Kisan Sangharash Committee (KSC), had laid siege to the Harike bridge connecting Majha and Malwa, the Beas bridge on the Amritsar-Delhi highway and the Hargobindpur bridge in Gurdaspur on Monday afternoon.
Farmer leaders, while lifting the blockades, said since the Centre appears to be adamant on passing the “anti-farmer” ordinances in Parliament, they will scale up their protest and a decision will be taken in a high-level meeting on Thursday.
KSC’s general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher, who led the protest on Beas bridge, said, “We have lifted the protest, but that doesn’t mean our struggle has finished. Now, the protest will be intensified.”
He said, “Our further action plan may include barring the entry of political leaders, especially the Central ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs, in Punjab’s villages. We may also plan to launch rail roko andolan (stir), besides organising long protest marches in all cities and villages of the state.”
KSC’s Punjab president Satnam Singh Pannu held responsible both the ruling Congress in Punjab and the BJP’s ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for playing with the sentiments of the state’s farmers.