Chandigarh, Dec 8 (IANS) Activists from various farmer, civil society and employee organisations on Tuesday held widespread protests in Punjab and Haryana against the new farm laws which, they say, will destroy livelihoods.
Road networks — both national and state highways — were largely impacted in both the states owing to the nationwide ‘chakka jam’ call from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In Punjab’s Sangrur district, the rail network was hit as protesters squatted on tracks.
Heavy police force was deployed in both the states to deal with any untoward situation. However, there was no report of any violence.
Even shopkeepers and petrol pump owners in most of the major towns in both the states shut their establishments expressing solidarity with the farmers.
Thousands of government employees in Punjab went on mass casual leave, while the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) kept all its institutions closed for the day.
The traffic in and around Chandigarh was severely affected.
Congress workers were arrested by Chandigarh Police after they blocked the national highway between Chandigarh and Zirakpur.
Protesters at several places were seen displaying placards, saying ‘No farmers, no food’ and ‘We are not terrorists’.
Protests were also reported from Hisar, Rohtak, Sonipat and other towns in neighbouring Haryana where opposition parties — the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal extended their support.
The Haryana government had ordered a security clampdown across the state as a precautionary measure in view of the planned protest.