New Delhi: Farmers across the country on Friday staged a protest against the contentious farm bills that were passed by Parliament in the recently-concluded monsoon session. Rail roko in Punjab, blockades in Haryana, agitations in Maharashtra and scattered protests in Uttar Pradesh –the farmers questioned the bills even as the Centre hailed the reforms to be in the farmers’ interest.Also Read - PM Narendra Modi to Launch e-RUPI on August 2: Know All About The New Digital Payment Platform

Meanwhile, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, await presidential assent. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Lockdown: State Makes RT-PCR Report Mandatory For People Coming From Kerala. Deets Inside

Here’s are the top 10 points from this big story: Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown Update: Decision After 15 Days on Night Life, Weekend Curbs, Says CM

1) Reports of shutdown of shops and other establishments were received from Punjab’s Patiala, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and other places. Northern Railways cancelled three trains and curtailed the routes of 20 special trains.

2) A three-day rail roko that began Thursday is also underway in Punjab, with farmers squatting on the tracks at many places in Punjab and the railways suspending many trains. The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee on Friday announced its extension by another three days. Buses run by state owned Pepsu Road Transport Corporation also remained off the roads on Friday. In neighbouring Haryana, farmers blocked the Karnal-Meerut, Rohtak-Jhajjar and Delhi-Hisar and other roads.

3) As day progressed, thousands of farmers joined protests across Maharashtra too. The agitation has been supported by the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, the All India Kisan Sabha, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, major farmers’ organisations, various national and state level trade unions and student unions.

4) Uttar Pradesh also saw farmers blocking the Ayodhya-Lucknow highway for a few hours on Friday. Protesters also burnt stubble in the middle of the road and shouted slogans against the Centre, demanding withdrawal of agriculture Bills. Farmers blocked the Delhi-Meerut highway near Ghaziabad to protest the legislations. Farmers from the Lakhimpur Kheri district have also gathered in protest. Protests have also been reported from many districts in Uttar Pradesh, including Pilibhit, Sambhal, Ghaziabad, Sitapur, Baghpat and Barabanki.

5) RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav turned it into a political event in poll-bound Bihar. A procession of around 50 tractors followed the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, with his party supporters shouting slogans against the NDA government over the Bills.

6) In Tamil Nadu, the protests were not even half as emphatic as in Punjab or Haryana. Led by Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association President P. Ayyakannu, farmers held their protest outside the Collectorate in Trichy while carrying human skulls in their hands. They demanded that the Bills should not be made into law.

7) Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal drove a tractor while his wife and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal sat beside him in Muktsar district. He led a tractor march from his Badal village to Lambi, where the party had organised a protest against the bills. At several other places, party workers blocked roads.

8) Farmers leaders led by the Hasiru Sene (Green Brigade), Kodihalli Chandrashekhar on Friday asserted that their talks to call off Karnataka Bandh on September 28, failed with the Karnataka Chief Minister, B. S. Yediyurappa refusing to withdraw controversial Bills.

9) As part of the nationwide stir, members of farmers’ bodies belonging to the Left parties and West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress staged sporadic protests in various parts of the state demanding withdrawal of the ‘anti-people’ farm Bills passed recently in the Parliament.

10) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interaction with BJP workers on Friday, said that all the karyakartas should reach out to farmers and educate them on the importance of the farm bills passed by Parliament recently. He asserted that “propaganda” must be busted, targeting the opposition for “spreading rumors” on agriculture-related bills.