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Farmers’ Bharat Bandh: What’s open, what’s shut

Published:

NEW DELHI: Farmers’ unions, including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), have called for a

nationwide strike

, named Gramin Bharat Bandh, on

February 16

, urging the Centre to address their longstanding demands. The strike is expected to impact several

sectors

, with potential disruptions to transportation, agricultural activities, and rural employment schemes, among others.

Bandh timing and duration

The Gramin Bharat Bandh is scheduled from 6am to 4pm on February 16, with farmers planning massive chakka jams on main roads from 12pm to 4pm. Routes in Punjab are set to be affected for four hours, causing potential traffic diversions and delays.
Delhi NCR borders, particularly Singhu (Delhi-Haryana), Ghazipur, and Tikri (Delhi-Haryana), are anticipated to experience significant traffic disruptions, making it challenging for commuters to enter the national capital.

Dilli Chalo March: Police use drones to drop tear gas shells on protesting farmers in Ambala

Affected sectors

Transportation, agricultural activities, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) rural works, private offices, village shops, and rural industrial and service sector institutions are expected to remain closed.

Impact on essential services

Emergency services such as ambulance operations, newspaper distribution, marriage ceremonies, medical shops, and students going for board exams are unlikely to be affected.

Farmers’ demands

The farmers, under the banner of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), have listed key demands, including a minimum support price based on the Swaminathan formula, legal guarantee of procurement, debt waiver, and comprehensive crop insurance, among others.

Farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ march: Heavy police barricading deployed at Ghazipur border

Support from public intellectuals

Notable public intellectuals and artists have issued a joint statement in support of the joint call by workers and farmers for the sectoral industrial strike and Grameen Bharat Bandh on February 16.

Security in place

The Delhi Police has made preparations for potential protests, placing orders for more than 30,000 tear gas shells to prevent farmers from entering the national capital under their ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest.

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