Bharat Bandh Lukewarm response in city
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Bharat Bandh Lukewarm response in city

September 27, 2021

Mysore/Mysuru: The Bharat Bandh, called by farmer associations and a host of other organisations across the country seeking repealment of the three farm laws introduced by the Centre last year, received a lukewarm response in city, with shops and commercial establishments, educational institutions, public and private offices and the like, functioning as usual.

However, the 6 am to 4 pm bandh was marked by processions, protests, demonstrations and meetings at different venues.

Today’s bandh was called  under the aegis of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is spearheading an agitation near New Delhi for the past ten months. The bandh call also marked the first anniversary of President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent to the three farm laws (Sept. 27, 2020), which the farmer bodies claim are ‘black laws.’

Barring some shops in the Central Business District which had voluntarily closed down, a majority of shops and commercial establishments remained open as usual at K.R. Circle, D.Devaraj Urs Road, Makkaji Chowk, Gandhi Square, Old Bank Road and Shivarampet. 

Picture shows protesters on march requesting shop owners to down the shutters at Shivarampet.

KSRTC and private buses operated near to normal, while  other public transport and goods vehicles plied as usual. Schools, Colleges, Banks, Post Offices, Central establishments, Hospitals, Medical Shops, Petrol Bunks, Hotels and Restaurants remained open.

In Karnataka, the Opposition Congress and JD(S) too had extended their support to the bandh, apart from a host of farmer, trade unions, labour associations and Dalit organisations. Several transport and travel unions and other associations had extended their moral support to the bandh. 

With the bandh evoking a lukewarm response, the city witnessed an almost normal life with vehicular and public movement remaining as usual. Tourist spots in and outside the city and temples remained open.

Ahead of the bandh, hundreds of members of different organisations such as CPI, AITUC, KRRS, DSS, INTUC, AAP (Aam Admi Party) gathered at the Town Hall at about 6.30 am to chalk out the strategies for ensuring the success of the bandh. The protestors marched in a procession to Sub-Urban Bus Stand and blocked the entry and exit gates. They also simultaneously  blocked vehicular movement on all the surrounding roads of the bus-stand, disrupting traffic for some time. 

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As entry and exit gates were blocked, KSRTC services were disrupted for a couple of hours. 

The protestors also formed a human chain near the bus stand and tried to have breakfast there itself. But the Police, who were present in large numbers at the spot, counselled the protestors following which they marched back to the Town Hall.

After having breakfast there, they resumed their march, carrying placards and raising slogans against the Central and State Governments and passed through the main thoroughfares of the CBD, appealing the shop keepers to shut down.

As the procession passed through Irwin road, the protestors tried to break into the ever- buzzing K.T. Street, which was prevented by the Police.  A verbal duel ensued between the Police and protestors and after  much deliberation, the Police let only a few protestors to K.T. Street. 

Continuing their procession, the protestors marched through major thoroughfares such as Ashoka Road, Sayyaji Rao Road, Vinoba Road, D.D.Urs Road, Chamaraja Double Road etc.,  as part of their plan to reach the Deputy Commissioner’s Office. But they were stopped near Ramaswamy Circle by the Police, who refused to allow the march any further, citing law and order problems.

Earlier, addressing the protestors near sub-urban bus stand, social activist P. Mallesh urged the Centre to repeal the three farm laws, which he said, sounded a death knell to the farming community. He also warned of launching a massive movement across the country if the demand was not met forthwith.

Hoskote Basavaraj, Jagadish Soorya, Ugranarasimhegowda, Mohan Kumar Gowda, P. Marankaiah, Chandrashekar Meti, Sandhya, Choranahalli Shivanna and others representing various organisations, Malavika Gubbivani of Aam Admi Party and others took part in the protest.

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Meanwhile, farmers under the banner of Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers Association too took out a separate march from Gun House to the DC Office. Before taking out the procession, the farmers blocked the ever- busy Mysuru-Nanjangud Road near Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashram, for over an hour, which disrupted vehicular movement.

Marching in procession from Gun House, the farmers raised slogans against the Central and State Governments. As they marched in front of the MCC Office on Sayyaji Rao Road in a bid to enter the city bus stand for stopping movement of buses, the Police stopped them near the MCC Office. As they insisted on entering the city bus stand, the protestors, led by farmer leader Attahalli Devaraj, were taken into custody by the Police and shifted in a Police vehicle  to faraway CAR Grounds, from where they would be let off later in the day.

In another protest, farmers belonging to Vidyasagar faction of KRRS too took out a procession from Gun House to the Deputy Commissioner’s Office. The protestors cooked food near the DC Office and had lunch there itself. 

City Police had made elaborate security arrangements all throughout the city. The Bharat Bandh passed off peacefully with no untoward incidents reported from any part of the city when we went to the press.

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