Jammu witnesses pro-farmer protests against newly introduced farm laws

Paramilitary soldiers stand guard at a protest site in Jammu on Tuesday. Photo: Mir Imran/ GK

Various organisations, including transporters, held peaceful protests here on Tuesday to express solidarity with farmers who gave a call for Bharat Bandh.

The bandh evoked a mixed response in Jammu region with most of public transport staying off roads. Commuters faced problems and were seen walking a distance, but shops and business establishments remained partially open.

The main protest rally was taken out by J&K Transport Welfare Association (JKTWA) from Bikram Chowk to Digyana, blocking the Jammu-Pathankot highway. The JKTWA and over a dozen other social, religious and political organizations have extended support to the bandh call.

The protests remained peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in Jammu district or elsewhere in the province, officials said.

Leading the protest march, JKTWA chairman T S Wazir said they were on the roads in support of the agitating farmers who were demanding immediate revocation of the three farm laws introduced by the central government.

“If there is a need, we are ready to join the farmers in Delhi,” Wazir told reporters, amid high-pitch sloganeering by participants at Bikram Chowk in the heart of the city.

Taking a dig at the central government for defending the laws as “pro-farmer”, he said the Union ministers had promised Rs 15 lakh to citizens and two crore jobs but these promises proved to be white lies.

“They are selling falsehood to the public which people are not going to accept anymore,” he said.

Various other social, religious and political organizations including National Panthers Party (NPP), Kisan Vikas Front and United Sikh Organisation also staged peaceful protests at different places in the city in support of the bandh call.

Joint Action Committee of civil society groups and social organizations also held protests at various places in different districts including Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Udhampur and Reasi.

The officials said police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order across Jammu region.