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‘Apolitical’ Karnataka Bandh by Farmers Gets Good Response in Most Districts as Netas Turned Away

Farmers protest against the new central and state farm related laws in Bengaluru on Monday. (Photo: PTI)

Farmers protest against the new central and state farm related laws in Bengaluru on Monday. (Photo: PTI)

The Karnataka bandh has partially affected normal public life as public transport has been hit and commercial establishments have downed the shutters in support of farmers.

D P Satish

Karnataka Bandh, which was called by over 108 organisations against the Centre and the state’s recent farm related laws, is picking up pace across the state. There has been a good response to the bandh in at least 25 of total 30 districts in Karnataka.

The bandh has partially affected normal public life as public transport has been hit and commercial establishments have downed the shutters in support of farmers. After their talks with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa failed, the farmers decided to observe the bandh on Monday.

They are opposing the APMC reforms act and Karnataka government’s decision to allow everyone to buy agricultural land, terming them a death warrant of agrarian community.

Angry farmers have blocked National Highways at many places across the state. The Bandh has also got good response in BJP stronghold of Mumbai – Karnataka region. Farmers have hit the roads in Hubli, Dharwad, Bijapur, Haveri, Gadag, Bagalkote and other important towns and cities.

Farmers in Hyderabad – Karnataka region have also participated in the bandh.

In Old Mysore region, the bandh has got a mixed response. Farmers are protesting in Mysore, Mandya, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Tumkur, Chickmagalur, Davanagere and Shimoga against what they call a grave injustice to farmers.

The organisers allege that the recent farm sector reforms are aimed at helping the corporate sector, robbing the farmers of their livelihood. Angry farmers have burnt the effigy of PM Modi and CM Yediyurappa at some places.

The organisers have asked mainstream political parties not to participate in the bandh claiming it an apolitical protest to safeguard the interests of the farmers. In Dharwad, BJP and Congress supporters were sent back from the protest site.

The ruling BJP in Karnataka has distanced itself from the bandh defending the farm sector reforms. The main protest is taking place in Bengaluru.

The Bengaluru City Police have made elaborate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incidents. They have warned the farmers that cost will be recovered from them if they damage public properties. B Nagendra, one of the organisers, alleged that Karnataka Government is using excess force to quell their protests.


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