Bengaluru, Feb 6: Several farmers, Dalit activists and Left supporters were detained across Karnataka on Saturday while taking part in the nationwide ‘chakka jam’ called by farmers’ organisations in New Delhi.
Traffic across the state was not affected but as this was a weekend and several people knew about this agitation in advance, it did not affect normal life much and that too it was called between 12 to 3 p.m.
Several agitating farmers in Bengaluru’s northern suburb of Yelahanka were detained for blocking the highway for over two hours.
Police also detained several farmer leaders including Kuruburu Shantakumar and protesting farmers to clear the traffic.
The protests also saw the detention of some of the demonstrators as the police tried to clear the roads for traffic movement. Politician Vatal Nagaraj, who joined the farmers, was also detained from Mysore Bank Circle.
Many office goers in Bengaluru reached their offices a bit early in the morning in anticipation that farmers’ agitation might throw traffic out of gear, but except in a few parts on the fringe of the city, traffic movement was normal.
The ‘chakka jam’ protest was more effective in rural parts, where a high number of farmers came out and cooked food on the roads, while some activists sang patriotic songs as well as sang ‘bhajans’ (devotional songs) to keep the agitators engaged.
The demonstrations took place in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kolar, Koppal, Bagalkote, Tumakuru Davangere, Hassan, Haveri, Shivamogga, Chikkaballapura, and other places.
In some districts like Belgavi, women activists also came out in large numbers and protested. At Chitradurga activists formed a human chain and shouted slogans against the farm laws and the Union government. In several districts in north Karnataka, even artists and cooks came out in support of the farmers and used roads as their canvas to depict how the farm laws can harm farmers.
Condemning the agitations, Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilisers D.V. Sadananda Gowda told reporters that the accusations made by the farmers were “wrong” and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has implemented the recommendations of Swaminathan Committee to address the agrarian distress and farmers’ suicides.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points since November last year, demanding that the Union government repeal the three farm laws and legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.