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India's day of 'bandhs': Karnataka, Darjeeling and Punjab hit by protests

From a river water sharing dispute to calls for a new state, the nation was not calm today

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Paramilitary force patrol the city during the indefinite bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morch
Paramilitary force patrol the city during the indefinite bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morch

From a river water sharing dispute in Karnataka to the demand for a separate state of in Darjeeling, India witnessed a spate of bandhs (shutdown) on June 12. 

Along with Karnataka and Darjeeling, and Navi Mumbai, in Maharashtra, also witnessed bandhs in relation to the demands of farmers.

Here is a list of the various bandhs across several states in India:

Karnataka bandh over river dispute

As reported earlier, pro-Kannada organisations have called for a state-wide low-key bandh on Monday in lieu of early implementation of the Mahadayi river

Led by Kannada Okoota, an umbrella organisation of the pro-Kannada bodies in the state, they are pressing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the Mahadayi river dispute, farm loan waiver and a permanent solution to the water scarcity problem in parched areas. 

However, the local transport wing, including bus, auto, and taxi services will continue to ply as per schedule. Also, banks and ATMs will also continue to function as normal.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-backed indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling

Tourism has taken a major hit in the scenic town of in West Bengal, with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) spearheading a shut down on Monday over the demand for a separate state of  

According to reports, after GJM cadres clashed with the police following their protests against Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to and her decision to make Bengali a compulsory part of the syllabus in schools across the state, the Army was called in to control the situation.

The president of the outfit, Bimal Gurung, has advised tourists to leave the hills because of the possibility of "untoward" incidents. Presently, between 50,000 foreign and 500,000 domestic tourists visit annually. 

Farmers' unions in hold protests

According to agency reports, farmers today staged protests across the state demanding waiver of farm loans and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report for fixing minimum support price for produce.

Activists of seven farmer outfits, including the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), BKU (Dakunda), Krantikari Kisan Union, and Kisan Sangharsh Committee, staged dharnas at all district headquarters.

The protestors were joined by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP workers, with SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal leading demonstrations at Ludhiana. 

Besides debt relief, the two parties also protested on issues like farmer suicides and "mining mafia", and demanded the sacking of Cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh, who is facing allegations of impropriety in sand mining contracts.

First Published: Mon, June 12 2017. 15:58 IST
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