BENGALURU: The Bharat Bandh call given by Samyukta Kisan Morcha protesting against the Centre’s farm laws evoked a lukewarm response across Karnataka on Monday, while some parts experienced traffic snarls. The bandh was limited to rallies and protests, without affecting business or transport.
In Bengaluru, too, the bandh had little effect with all modes of transport and businesses running as usual. As farmers took out a rally, traffic was thrown out of gear despite the traffic police diverting vehicular movement.
Thousands of farmers and members of various organisations marched from Town Hall to Mysuru Bank Circle. The police had beefed up security across Bengaluru and deployed additional forces at bus stations and railway stations.
Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, president, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene, said people of Karnataka supported the bandh. “Although the government ran its buses and offices as usual and the police detained many protesters, the people of the state supported our cause by staying home. In Bengaluru, thousands of people took part in the rally. The bandh was successful in the state,” he added.
Students of Mysore University boycotted classes and formed a human chain to support the agitation.
In Mysuru, Mandya, and Chamarajanagar districts, hundreds of farmers blocked entry gates of KSRTC and private bus stations till 9 am and forced traders to pull down shutters. Police and protesters entered into a wordy duel when agitators threatened shop owners.
In Kalaburagi, activists blocked the entrance of Central Bus Stand in the morning, following which the Kalyana Karnataka Region Transport Corporation withdrew buses up to 2 pm.
‘New farm laws favour corporate companies’
I n Belagavi, the APMC vegetable market remained closed. Farmer leader KT Gangadhar said in the coming days, both farmers and the common man will become labourers of the corporate sector.
“Farmers who have been conserving the land of their ancestors will lose it. The days of crying for food are not far away,” he told the agitators. Condemning the new laws, farmer leader HR Basavarajappa said the government amended the farm laws to favour corporate companies.
On the Pune-Bengaluru NH, protesters tried to stop vehicles at Hire Bagewadi. But the police thwarted their attempts and took them into custody. The protesters were released later. Women Congress members staged a ‘rasta roko’ on the national highway in Hubballi. By noon, farmers from Khanapur and Belagavi taluks arrived on tractors at Rani Channamma Circle and blocked roads for some time. Pro-farmer organisations took out protest rallies in Bidar, Vijayapura and Bagalkot.
The protesters submitted memorandums to the President of India through the DC’s office, urging the government to roll back monetising of government assets, farm laws and amendments to labour laws. In Chikkamagaluru, leaders and activists of political parties like Congress, JDS, BSP, CPI, CPM and forums like DSS and Kannada Sene took part in the protest.