The farmers sat on peaceful protests at several spots in Ambala, Kurukshetra, and Yamunanagar, while sloganeering against the Central government, demanding immediate withdrawal of three agriculture bills recently passed in the Parliament and guarantee of procurement on the minimum support price (MSP).
Due to protest staged by Punjab farmers at the inter-state Punjab-Haryana border at Shambu barrier, the movement on the national highway (NH) 44 (GT Road) remained affected and the Haryana Police diverted the traffic coming from Delhi side, at Pipli and Shahabad towards Panchkula via Barara and Shahzadpur towns of Ambala district. No vehicular movement was seen towards Amritsar and Chandigarh after Shahabad, as the traffic was being diverted by the police.
The movement of an Indian Army convoy towards Punjab on GT Road was obstructed due to protest by Punjab farmers at Shambhu border for about 30 minutes. However, on the intervention of the Haryana police officials, the army convoy’s obstruction was cleared and it continued its journey toward Punjab on the GT Road but on the wrong side. Some protestors on the Punjab side, who were confronting a while color army gypsy allegedly raised Khalistan Zindabad slogans near the Shambhu border, while sloganeering against the Central government. However, none of the concerned officials talked on record about this incident.
Ambala range inspector general of police (IGP) Y Puran Kumar said, “The protests staged by farmers remained peaceful in Ambala range and we only had to divert traffic on NH 44 and 152 due to protests staged by Punjab farmers on the highways in Patiala and Mohali areas. Otherwise, the situation has remained entirely peaceful. We had made ample security arrangements and force was deputed at all the important spots.”
In the markets area of Ambala and Kurukshetra, the bandh call received a mixed response as some shops were closed while some shopkeepers opened their businesses while maintaining that they have nothing to do with the farm protests.
However, in Yamunanagar, there was no response to the bandh call in the market areas which remained opened in the Jagadhri-Yamunanagar cities.
In Ambala, the farmers carried out protest march in Ambala Cantt, Barara, Saha, and Mullana towns while raising slogans against the government and requesting the shopkeepers to observe a lockdown till 4 pm and they blocked NH 7 in front of Naraingarh Sugar Mill at Banondi village in Shahzadpur area.
In Kurukshetra, the farmers blocked NH 444-A in front of Radha Soami Satsang Bhawan at Dinarpur village in Shahabad area, and they burnt effigies and hoardings of BJP-JJP leaders near Dau Majra village and sat on a protest in the grain market in Pehowa and marched in other areas of the district. Congress Ladwa MLA Mewa Singh also joined farmers in their protest in his assembly areas.
In Yamunanagar, the farmers associated with BKU (Charuni) sat on a protest at the Ambala-Saharanpur railway track at Sudhal-Mehrampur villages and BKU (Tikait) group protested at Triveni Chowk on Ladwa-Yamunanagar road in Radaur town and Radaur Congress MLA Bishan Lal Saini also joined them. In Radaur, effigies of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Haryana chief minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar, and Haryana deputy CM Dushyant Chautala were also burnt.
BKU Haryana president Gurnam Singh Charuni was on the move and he visited several protest spots to address the protests in Pinjore, Barwala, Naraingarh, and Shahabad.
Charuni said, “Our demand is that the Central government should immediately rollback its three anti-farmer agriculture bills. It was just a symbolic protest today and in the coming days, the agitation will be intensified, if the government does not change its stand.”