GUWAHATI: Farmers' "Bandh Bandh" called today across India has crippled life in several parts of Assam, with several farmers' organizations and workers' bodies extending their support to the 4-hours-long shutdown. Many of these organizations' members also took to the streets, demanding the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to roll back its controversial laws that have triggered massive uprisings in North India.
Life in Jorhat district of Upper Assam was badly affected, with protests being spearheaded by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), which was also joined by other organizations. For the most part, streets wore a deserted look as movement of vehicles was severely restricted and most of the shops were closed down.
'Raijor Dal', the new regional party from Assam formed under the aegis of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) also joined the agitation in Jorhat.
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"We condemn the Bills and stand in solidarity with the farmers protesting these anti-farmer law. We urge the farmers' unions to intensify the protest as the Modi-led Government has enacted several anti-people's law," a Raijor Dal activist told Inside Northeast at the protest site.
In lower Assam's Rangia town also, several organizations came together to protest the Centre's farm laws, while at the same time appealing the Government to roll back the same.
"The BJP-led Government has already passed the anti-farmer bills, and the farmers have been protesting near Delhi. The Government is not willing to repeal the laws. Therefore, we have joined the protest on this day of Bharat Bandh to extend solidarity to the protesting farmers," a CITU leader told Inside Northeast on the sidelines of the protest.
Similar scenes were witnessed all over Tinsukia town, where all commercial establishments were closed and people stayed home for the most part, extending their support to the 'bandh' called by the farmers' organizations.
"You can hear a pin drop in Tinsukia as the streets -- usually bustling with trade and commerce -- have become quiet as people are supporting the farmers' bodies in their protest. 13 organizations in Assam have also extended their moral support to the bandh, which is why townsfolk have stayed indoors," a source in Tinsukia told Inside Northeast.
With no sign of any agreement between the government and the protesting farmers even after the fifth round of talks on Saturday, and the next meeting scheduled for December 9, farmers are sticking to their first and major point - that the three "anti-farmer" laws passed in September be repealed.
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