Bandh call evokes mixed response in K’taka

Bengaluru, Sep 28(UNI) The Karnataka Bandh call given by pro-farmer organisations supported by a number of other social and political outfits on Monday evoked mixed response in the state with normal life by and large not getting disturbed.

The agitation was in protest against the amendments to the APMC and Land Reforms Act passed in the recently concluded session despite strong objection by the opposition Congress, JDS and Farmers Associations.

The amendment to the Land Reforms Act lifts restrictions on purchasing agricultural land and enables any individual to purchase it. Earlier, the law permitted only the farmers to purchase agricultural land in the state.

The repeal of certain provisions in the APMC Act through an amendment allows private players to directly purchase agriculture produce from farmers, which was prohibited earlier.

The protesters alleged that these laws will ruin the agriculture sector as people with moneybags will purchase agricultural land to convert their black money into white and turn agriculture land into real estate business.

The agitators alleged that the amendment to the APMC Act will deprive the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and enable multinational companies and big corporate houses to directly procure produce at their rates.

The Bandh call was given by the Karnataka Raitha Sangha (Karnataka Farmers’ Association) and other farmer organisations and it was supported by the Congress, JD(S), Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) and the Left parties.

The protests were staged at important locations in Bengaluru, Ramanagara, Mandya, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Tumakuru, Ballari, Raichur, Chitradurga, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Bidar, Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dharwad and Davangere among others.

Ignoring the coronavirus fear, farmers came onto the streets in groups, raised slogans, took out bike rallies, burnt tyres in protest on the road and staged sit-in demonstrations. At many places, the demonstrators courted arrest.

In the state capital, farmers and members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike took out rallies and tried to stop buses but were taken into custody.

Protests were held at various places including Mysuru Bank circle, Town Hall, Yelahanka and Ballari Road in the city.

More than 300 farmers were detained in Bengaluru when they tried to block vehicular movement.

The Karnataka Bandh, which was organized by the Farmer’s organizations to protest against the anti-people laws including the Land Reform and APMC Amendment Act – which is being implemented by the central and state governments – has not received much support in Mangaluru, in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts.

KSRTC and Private bus operators were operating in the city as usual. The commercial establishments were also open.

In support of the Karnataka Bandh, Farmer Organizations were seen demonstrating in front of the Mini Vidhana Soudha in the city.

Reports about the mixed response to the bandh were received from many parts of the state.

No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state and heavy police deployment was maintained.


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