Farmers in Karnataka are holding a statewide bandh on Monday,September 28, in protest against the BJP-ruled state and union governments over the recently introduced contentious farm and land use laws. The call for strike between 6am-6pm called by farmer organisations have been supported by labour unions. Farmers have threatened to block all state and national highways too.
Police across the state including in Bengaluru will keep a tight vigil to maintain law and order and allow free movement of people.
â€śWe will not let anyone curtail movement of people. We will make adequate security arrangements. We will have 12,000 civil police, 47 KSRP (Karnataka State Reserve Police) platoons, 24 CAR (City Armed Reserve) platoons. Four additional commissioners, 16 DCPs (Deputy Commissioner of Police) will patrol the city,â€ť Bengaluru City Commissioner Kamal Pant told TNM.
While the state government has said normal life will remain unaffected, many private stakeholders including those in Bengaluru have voluntarily come forward with their support to the strike.
Public buses, metro are likely to run as per normal while cabs and auto services are likely to be affected.
Speaking on the Bandh, Deputy Chief Minister of Laxman Savadi who holds the transport portfolio clarified that services of all the four road transport corporations including the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation will be available, and the Police Department has been requested to provide additional security.
Meanwhile, taxi and auto services are likely to be affected across the state.
Tanveer Pasha, President of the Ola TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers' Association, said there wonâ€™t be any app-hailed cabs during the bandh. Similarly, Peace Auto and Taxi Association, Bharath Vehicles drivers union have also said that they wonâ€™t be operating during the bandh hours.
Since the start of the previous week from Monday, Bengaluru had seen many protests by the farmers and Dalit groups who want the government to roll back the newly introduced reforms.
The state government has passed the Karnataka Land reforms (Amendment) Ordinance 2020, Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation and Development) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 and Industrial Disputes and certain other laws (Amendment) ordinance 2020. At the same time, the Union government on September 20 had passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmersâ€™ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmersâ€™ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 under controversial circumstances.
According to the protesters and the Opposition, these legislations are detrimental to small scale farmers especially Daits who anyway have little patches of land. This is because pre-existing ceilings on land ownership and income bar for land ownership is being diluted creating an ideal ground for land hoarding. Further, they say that the deregulation of Essential Commodities Act, APMC Acts are also going to leave farmers at the mercy of corporations.