Under adequate police security arrangements the 12-hour “Bharat Bandh” called by farmer unions protesting against three agriculture laws had a minimal impact in Delhi on Friday
The “Bharat Bandh” called by the farmer unions began at 6 am.
The situation was normal at the New Delhi railway station. Markets at Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Kashmiri Gate, Chandni Chowk and Sadar remained open. Shops in Khan Market were also open.
A senior Delhi Police officer said the situation is peaceful and remains under control, adding that no report of any untoward incident has so far been received.
Farmers camping at the Ghazipur border blocked a carriageway of National Highway-9 from Delhi to Ghaziabad in the morning, but there was not much activity by the protesters in the city till afternoon.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had to briefly close the entry and exit gates of the Tikri Border, Bahadurgarh City and Brigadier Hoshiar Singh stations, but after a few minutes, the stations were opened for passengers.
A farmer leader claimed that there were protests in Mayapuri and some other areas where people peacefully staged demonstrations.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of the protesting unions, claimed that various farmer organisations, trade unions, student bodies, bar associations, political parties and representatives of state governments have supported the “Bharat Bandh” call.
On Thursday, the SKM had said the “Bharat Bandh” would also be observed in the national capital.
It had appealed to people to make its nationwide shutdown successful.
“All shops, malls, markets and institutions will remain closed under the complete Bharat Bandh. All minor and big roads and trains will be blocked.
“All services will remain suspended except for ambulance and other essential services. The effect of the Bharat Bandh will be observed inside Delhi as well,” the SKM had said in a statement.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) on their crops.
So far, there have been 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and the government, but the deadlock continues as both sides stick to their stands.
In January, the government had offered to suspend the farm laws for 12-18 months, which was rejected by the farmer unions.