BENGALURU: Thousands of farmers staged a sit-in-protest followed by a public gathering at Bengaluru on Monday as part of Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s serial protest against the Union Government’s farm laws. Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait and Hasiru Sene Chief Kodihalli Chandrashekhar led the protests where a call for Karnataka bandh was given for March 26.
Members of various labour unions and rights organisations like All India Central Council of Trade Unions, All India Progressive Women’s Association and All India Students Association Karnataka protested in solidarity with farmers.
“The response to all three days of our serial protest has been wonderful. Farmers in Karnataka understand how these laws will impact them. We have decided to call for a Karnataka bandh on the lines of Bharath Bandh called for by Samyukt Kisan Morcha on March 26 against the farm laws, rising fuel prices, unemployment and various issues affecting common citizens,” said Kodihalli Chandrashekhar.
While a tractor rally that was planned from neighbouring districts to Bengaluru was disrupted, police stopped farmers marching towards Vidhana Soudha leading to a sit-in protest at Anand Rao Circle. Protestors later gathered at Freedom Park.
“Our protests won’t stop until these farm laws are repealed and MSP is guaranteed on our crops. Many farmers are unable to come to Delhi but they can come to Bengaluru. We should make Bengaluru into another Delhi,” said Rakesh Tikait adding that the Centre has not spoken to protesting farmers since January 22. The unions have decided to hold another mahapanchayat in Belagavi on March 31.