Bharat Bandh: Farmers Block Highways, Railway Tracks Across States

New Delhi- The Bharat bandh organised on Monday by farmers' groups protesting against the three contentious farm laws has disrupted rail and road travel in many places.

Punjab and Haryana

In Punjab and Haryana, the states considered the epicentre of the farmers' protests, protesters blocked highways and roads and squatted on railway tracks. The Congress, which rules Punjab, had announced its support for the bandh, leading to a near-total shutdown in the state, with transport services suspended during the bandh period, while shops and other commercial establishments remained shut at most places.

National and state highways in several districts, including Amritsar, Rupnagar, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Sangrur, Mohali, Ludhiana, Ferozepur and Bathinda were blocked by the protesters.

In neighbouring Haryana, the protesters blocked highways in Sirsa, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Hisar, Charkhi Dadri, Karnal, Kaithal, Rohtak, Jhajjar and Panchkula districts.

The protesting farmers squatted on railway tracks at many places in the two states.

Ferozepur's Divisional Railway Manager Seema Sharma told PTI that some passenger trains have been cancelled while some other services have been rescheduled. Farmers squatted on railway tracks at many places in the two states, including at Shahbad near Kurukshetra, Sonipat, Bahadurgarh, Charkhi Dadri, Jind, Amritsar, Patiala, Barnala and Lalru near Derabassi.

Bihar

The opposition Congress and RJD had announced support for the Bharat bandh. While public transport remained largely unaffected, protesters had blocked highways, roads and rail tracks in several places.

RJD and Congress workers blocked roads in Patna, Bhojpur, Lakhisarai, Jahanabad, East Champaran, Begusarai, Madhepura and Nalanda districts, affecting the movement of the traffic. RJD and CPI members also blocked railway lines in Patna, Ara, Jahanabad and Madhepura. Markets were open, while government and private offices registered usual attendance.

West Bengal

Activists of the opposition Left Front blocked roads and railway tracks in many places, though normal life was largely unaffected. In Kolkata, CPI(M) members blocked roads at College Street, Jadavpur and Shyambazar Five-Point Crossing but were swiftly removed by the police.

Road blockades were held in most of the major towns and cities in the state, including in district headquarters of Jalpaiguri, West Midnapore, East Midnapore, Hooghly and Coochbehar.

The Left activists blocked railway tracks at Jadavpur in Eastern Railway's Sealdah division. Reports of rail blockades from the Howrah division also came in.

Odisha

Markets were shut and public transport stayed off the roads as the Bharat bandh hit normal life in Odisha on Monday.

Activists of the opposition Congress and Left parties blocked roads at different places in Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir, Rayagada and Subarnapur. The protesters also blocked the railway lines at Bhubaneswar station, affecting train services in the state capital.

Kerala

Public transport was hit in Kerala where the strike is supported by the ruling LDF and the opposition Congress-led UDF. KSRTC bus services were off the road with almost all trade unions in the state taking part. People who had to travel opted for private modes of transport while others stayed home.

Delhi-UP

In the national capital, autorickshaws and taxis plied normally and shops were open with unions and associations extending only "in-principle support" to the Bharat bandh called by farmers. However, there was chaos at the city's borders, including at Ghazipur in western Uttar Pradesh where farmers blocked the highway to prevent any movement of vehicles.

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