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Bharat Bandh: Massive Jam at Delhi-Gurgaon Border As Farmers Protest

Picture courtesy: India today

Normal life was hit as farmers blocked highways and squatted on railway tracks at many places on the occasion of the Bharat Bandh called on Monday against the three contentious farm laws. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions, is leading the 6 am-4 pm protest today.

Hundreds of cars were stacked bumper-to-bumper along the Gurgaon-Delhi border this morning as the vehicles entering the national capital were being checked by Delhi police. The Delhi Noida Direct (DND) flyway also witnessed massive traffic congestion.

A few hours later, massive rows of stationary traffic, with vehicles closely tailing each other, were seen to be clearing up. Autorickshaws and taxis are operating normally in Delhi and shops are open today, with their unions and associations extending only "in-principle support" to the strike.

In both Punjab and Haryana, national highways, state highways, link roads and railway tracks have been severally blocked, bringing road and rail traffic to a halt. In Punjab, farmers protested at over 350 places. In Haryana too, highways are blocked and a close watch is being kept on all the dharna sites.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait apologised to all those who have been facing problems owing to the Bharat Bandh, saying the protesters are making "good arrangements" to allow emergency vehicles to pass and even providing commuters with refreshments.

All emergency establishments and essential services, including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies were exempted from the strike.

In Punjab, the ruling Congress said it firmly stands by the farm union's Bharat Bandh call against the three contentious laws. The shutdown was almost complete in the state.

The normal life remained unaffected across Maharashtra even as non- BJP parties held demonstrations and bike rallies in parts of the state in support of Bharat Bandh. However, chaos was reported in Chennai's Anna Salia after protesters were detained by police.

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