Srinagar: Kashmir fruit growers for the first time in recent years have joined hands with farmers of Indian states to extend their support to the Bharat Bandh called to protest the BJP government’s three new farm laws.
According to Bashir Ahmad Basheer, Chairman of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers cum Dealers Union, the fruit growers would shut their business activities on Tuesday to make the bandh call a success.
“We extend our support to the bandh call of farmers. Presidents of all fruit growers’ associations of the valley have been requested to close all their mandis for all sorts of business,” Bashir added.
Shops in all fruit mandis will remain shut so that the demands of the farmers are fulfilled. Sopore fruit mandi will also keep its operations suspended.
Farmers from various Indian states are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, all the legislations believed to have anti-farmer aspects. Thousands of farmers have gathered at Delhi’s borders to protest against the new farm laws, which they say will pave way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporates.
Politicall parties Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party (SP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Left Front have come out in support of the bandh.
New Delhi in a countrywide advisory has asked all states and Union Territories to tighten security during ‘Bharat Bandh’. In Lucknow, police took Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav into custody in advance.
In Kashmir, the support for the strike call has come at the peak apple season. The strike would make a huge impact as the apple trade is one of the biggest drivers of the economy JK, where about 2.5 lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with apple farming and trade.