Ten months into the ongoing farmers protest against three contentious farm laws, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha on Monday called a Bharat Bandh, bringing normal life to a screeching halt in many parts of the country. Several political parties and affiliated organisations also lent their support to the agitation. The response however has been varied from state to state - with massive rallies and rail roko protests in some areas and almost no reaction in others.
Traffic came to a standstill across Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in the morning as major highways were blocked by protesting farmers. Rail operations in Delhi, Ambala and Firozepur divisions were also impacted with people sitting on tracks at various locations.
"On the call of SKM, Bharat Bandh got unprecedented support across the country, we apologize for the problems being faced by the citizens, but farmers are also facing all the problems for 10 months," tweeted Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait.
In Andhra Pradesh left parties were seen protesting in front of Vijayawada bus station to observe the Bharat Bandh. And in Karnataka, several organizations carried out a rally from Bengaluru Town Hall area to Mysore bank circle.
"We deployed 45 officers and 600 staff to ensure a peaceful rally. So far, 30 people have been detained near Maurya Junction," MN Anucheth, DCP Central told news agency ANI.
Meanwhile in Tamil Nadu visuals showed protesters taking to the streets of Chennai in significant numbers even as the police fought to control the situation. Agitators were seen breaking police barricade in the Anna Salai area and many were detained by the police.
"Farmers are continuously protesting and Modi government is refusing to withdraw the laws. The struggle will continue and intensify further," insisted CPI (M) State Secretary K Balakrishnan.
Further details awaited.