A day after the contentious Land Reforms (Amendment) Act 2020 was passed in the Karnataka Legislative Council with the support of JD(S), farmer groups in Karnataka held a protest in Bengaluru marching from the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station towards Vidhana Soudha, the state legislature.
Similar to Tuesday's protests, hundreds of farmers from various farmer organisations gathered to hold a protest against the law passed in Karnataka. The law was earlier passed in the Karnataka Assembly in September. However, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said that protesters will be detained if they come close to the Vidhana Soudha where the third day of the Assembly session is currently underway.
Farmers gather at the entrance of Majestic railway station in #Bengaluru to protest the enactment of the land reforms amendment act in the Karnataka Legislative Council. #FarmLaws #LandReformsAct pic.twitter.com/sVW2qeNa2Yâ€” Theja Ram (@thejaram92) December 9, 2020
â€śIf protesters come within a two km radius of Vidhana Soudha they will be arrested. prohibitory orders have been issued under section 144 of CRPC to prohibit gathering within 2 km radius of Vidhana Soudha,â€ť Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said.
Despite the warnings, farmer groups began marching towards Vidhana Soudha around 1 pm on Wednesday. Police officials in the city said that they will stop the protesting farmers near Freedom Park, a place in the city where protests are usually staged. Many farmers arrived with whipping sticks (barukolu) in their hands
The protesting farmers also claimed that police had resorted to intimidating farmers in the state. â€śPolice have gone to farmersâ€™ homes in Tumakuru and stopped them from attending the protest. Many farmers have been detained at the Tumkur toll gate, Nelamangala toll gate and Ramanagara. They were asked to go back. This is intimidationâ€ť Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Convener Anand Patel said.
The farmers received support from trade union groups, Dalit and women organisations in the city.
â€” Theja Ram (@thejaram92) December 9, 2020
The fresh protests erupted after the contentious land reforms act was passed in the Legislative Council on Tuesday evening. The Bill was passed with 37 votes in its favour while 21 votes were cast against it in the Council. The farmers expressed disappointment at the JD(S), a party that has often centred its political narrative on pro-farmer campaigns. A key change in the land reforms act allows people other than agriculturists to purchase farm land. Farmers have been opposed to this amendment as they believe that large corporations would be able to buy agricultural land. Farmers fear that they will be coerced and threatened to give up their land.
On Tuesday, farmer groups lent their support to the Bharat Bandh called by farmers protesting against contentious farm laws by the central government.