Farmers affiliated to the CPM-backed All India Kisan Sabha, along with Congress workers, blocked national and state highways at 213 points in Bengal on Saturday in solidarity with the nationwide chakka jam call given by peasant unions protesting against the three contentious farm laws on Delhi borders.
“We staged road blockades at 73 points on national highways and at 140 points on state highways across Bengal. The road blockades continued for an hour across the state. The farmers want repeal of the three farm laws but the Narendra Modi government has remained insensitive,” said Amal Haldar, state secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha.
In East Burdwan’s Nawabhat, farmers, led by Haldar, blocked the NH-2 (Durgapur Expressway) for over an hour with senior leaders of the Kisan Sabha speaking on how the farm laws would benefit corporates at the cost of farmers and the farm sector.
“In East Burdwan, we had blocked around a dozen points and farmers had gathered in large numbers at Nawabhat to extend their support,” said Apurba Chatterjee, a CPM district secretariat member in East Burdwan.
Trinamul leaders and ministers Sujit Bose and Swapan Debnath, who were on their way to a government event in East Burdwan, were briefly stranded in the blockade at Nawabhat.
Kisan Sabha members blocked vehicles of the ministers and raised slogans against farm laws. Bose told reporters that they also wanted a repeal of the farm laws but the movement must go beyond road blockades.
In Birbhum, supporters of the Left and Congress blocked roads at 22 points.
Many farmers gathered in Rampurhat, Suri and Bolpur.
In Bolpur’s Shibpur, where the state government is setting up Biswa Bangla University and Gitabitan housing project, farmers blocked the state highway demanding the return of their land that had been originally acquired for industrialisation.