The nationwide bandh called by farmer unions on Tuesday, in protest of the Centre’s three farm laws ended largely on a peaceful note. Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, blocked key roads during their ‘chakka jam’ protest from 11 am to 3 pm.
Shops and commercial establishments remained closed, transport affected and traffic disrupted in many states, with the maximum impact felt in states like Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. Protesters blocked railway tracks at several places in West Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha. In Delhi, the markets remained mostly opened even as more farmers congregated near the border areas despite heavy security.
World media covered the farmers’ protest in a prominent way. Headlines for BBC News read, ‘Bharat bandh: India farmers protest against law.’
BBC article read, “A country-wide strike by farmers in India has begun amid a standoff with the government over new farm laws. Tuesday’s strike follows three rounds of inconclusive talks between the two sides over laws that farmers say are against their interests.”
The Washington Post headline read, ‘India farmers intensify protest against new laws with strike’. It further wrote, “A nationwide strike called by thousands of Indian farmers protesting new agriculture laws began Tuesday amid new demonstrations in the outskirts of the capital.”
“The strike follows five rounds of talks between the farmers and the Indian government that have failed to produce any breakthroughs. Tens of thousands of farmers have blocked key highways on the outskirts of New Delhi, the capital, for nearly two weeks.”
The New York Times headline read, ‘India’s Police Detain Opposition Leaders As Farmers’ Agitation Grows.
It wrote, “‘Aligning themselves squarely with India’s angry farmers, opposition leaders on Tuesday accused the government of cracking down on dissent, saying they had been detained while seeking to join broadening protests against the country’s new pro-market agricultural policies.”
Aljazeera’s headline read, ‘Bharat Bandh’: Indian farmers launch strike to press for demands’.
It wrote, “Tens of thousands of Indian farmers camping on the outskirts of the capital city, New Delhi, for more than a week have launched a “Bharat Bandh” (nationwide general strike) to demand the scrapping of three farm laws they say will hurt their livelihood and benefit only corporations.”
“Farmer leaders say the laws are pro-corporate and will gradually lead to the government withdrawing the current guaranteed price mechanism under which it buys agricultural produce from farmers.”