The three-hour bandh from 12 noon onwards was peaceful till the time the last reports came in around 2 p.m.
Several roads, including state and national highways, were blocked at different points across Haryana on Sunday in response to a call for statewide bandh by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) to protest three farm Bills.
The three-hour bandh from 12 noon onwards was peaceful till the time the last reports came in around 2 p.m. Though mostly state highways and internal roads were affected, the National Highway-9 (Delhi-Hisar) was blocked near Meham in Rohtak.
BKU Harayana chief Gurnam Singh Charuni told The Hindu over phone that the roads were blocked at hundreds of places across the state in response to their call for bandh.
“The response to the call is mixed. For the first time the youth have come out in large numbers to take part in the protest. Even the common people are part of it. The protest is being held at by the locals at many such places where BKU does not have a presence. It is all peaceful. There are no reports of any untoward incident so far. Our workers have also been exercising a lot of restraint,” said Mr. Charuni.
He claimed that protests were being held at 10-12 points in each district.
Mr. Charuni said the protesters demanded a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price to the farmers, to waive-off all taxes imposed under the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) on farmers and commission agents in line with the new bills and to write-off ₹7 lakh crore farmers’ loan.
“When the government can write-off ₹15 lakh crore corporate loan, why can’t they waive-off farmers debt which is less than half of it. Thousands of farmers committed suicide last year, does the government want more farmers to die this year?,” he asked.
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Additional Director-General of Police, (Law and Order) Navdeep Virk said there were reports of blocked on state and national highways at several points, but it was “absolutely” peaceful.
“Not a single incident of violence reported so far. Mostly the state highways and the internal roads have been blocked, but in some cases the national highways were also affected,” said Mr. Virk.
The Faridabad unit of BKU, however, did not resort to blockade and submitted a memorandum to Palwal Deputy Commissioner in support of their demands after a peaceful protest at Devi Lal park in the morning, said Faridabad BKU chief Rishipal.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal had on Saturday tweeted to make an appeal to the farmers to stay away from the protest and not allow the Opposition to succeed in its designs.