The ‘Bharat Bandh’ called on Monday by a collective of farmer organisations evoked limited response in Assam with protests held in parts of the state, though normal life remained largely unaffected.
The opposition Congress, which supported the bandh, did not organise any protest programme in the northeastern state.
In Guwahati, members of the SUCI (Communist) took out a rally in the morning, raising slogans against three farm laws passed by the Centre last year.
The protestors were detained by the police near the Ulubari point.
Rallies were also taken out by different organisations, mainly trade bodies affiliated to Left parties, in other parts of the state, including Nalbari, Barpeta, Digboi, Karimgan, Tezpur, and Silchar.
Shops remained closed in several localities in Tezpur and Barpeta as a mark of solidarity with the farmers’ cause.
However, the public transport system, business establishments, and offices functioned as usual in all other areas of the state.
Congress state president Bhupen Bora had urged people to come out on the streets in support of the bandh, but party workers were missing.
Congress spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma said the party had appealed to the people to spontaneously support the Bandh.
“People should realise how the government is ignoring core issues. The appeal of our state president was to the people to come out on their own to support the farmers’ cause,” she said.
The Raijor Dal and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) also extended their support to the bandh.
The 10-hour bandh was called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) demanding repeal of the three farm laws.
The three laws — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 — were passed by Parliament in September last year.
Farmer groups have alleged that these laws will end the ‘mandi’ and the MSP procurement systems and leave the farmers at the mercy of big corporates, even as the government has rejected these apprehensions as misplaced and asserted that these steps will help increase farmers’ income. PTI