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Karnataka bandh over farm bills evokes good response; Congress, JDS workers detained

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Bengaluru, Sep 28: Karnataka Bandh, which was called by over 108 organisations in protest against the amendments to the agricultural produce market committee (APMC) and land reform acts has evoked good response across the state.

Ignoring the coronavirus fear, farmers came on the roads in groups, raised slogans, took out bike rallies, burnt tyres in protest on the road and staged sit-in demonstrations.

Representational Image

At many places, the demonstrators courted arrest.

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    The protests were staged at important locations in Bengaluru, Ramanagara, Mandya, Mysuru, Chamarajanagara, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Tumakuru, Ballari, Raichur, Chitradurga, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Vijayapura, Bagalkote, Bidar, Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dharwad and Davangere among others.

    In Bengaluru, farmers and KRV members including its chief T A Narayana Gowda took out a rally and tried to stop buses when they were arrested.

    Protests were held at various places including Mysuru Bank circle, Town Hall, Yelahanka and Ballari Road in the city.

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    Police have detained workers of Congress, JD(S) & SDPI, who were protesting in Madikeri of Kodagu district in Karnataka, amid statewide protest against amended farms law.

    SDPI, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, JD(S), Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and others form human chain at Ashoka Circle, Shivamogga in protest against govt.

    Meanwhile, 'Karnataka Rakshna Vedike' activists also barged inside the railway station and Kempegowda International Airport to mark their protest and some organisations took to blocking highways, toll gates around the city.

    Farmers' organisations offered flowers to shopkeepers in Hubli and sought their support for the state-wide bandh being held today.

    In Davanagere, activists are found moving on the roads and trying to stop moving vehicles, but police are making the vehicles move freely.

    The demonstrations were against two important amendments to the Karnataka Land Reforms Act and the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act passed by the Karnataka Assembly despite strong objection by the opposition parties, mainly the Congress and JD(S).

    The amendment to the KLR Act lifts restrictions on purchasing agricultural land and enables any individual to purchase it.

    Earlier, the law permitted only the farmers to purchase agricultural land in the state.

    The repeal of certain provisions in the APMC Act through an amendment allows private players to directly purchase agriculture produce from farmers, which was prohibited earlier.

    The protesters alleged that these laws will ruin the agriculture sector as people with moneybags will purchase agricultural land to convert their black money into white and turn agriculture land into real estate business.

    The farmers alleged that the amendment to the APMC Act will deprive them of the minimum support price and enable multinational companies and big corporate houses to directly procure produce at their rates.

    The call for a bandh given by the Karnataka Raitha Sangha (Karnataka Farmers' Association) and other farmer organisations is supported by the Congress, JD(S), Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) and the Left parties.

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