Farmers in Punjab and Haryana will go on a strike on Friday in protest against the contentious farm bills that were passed in the Parliament.
As many as 31 farmer organisations have joined hands for the ''Punjab Bandh''. Several organisations in Haryana, including the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), said they had extended support to the nationwide strike called by some farmers' bodies against the bills.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh appealed to the farmers to maintain law and order, and adhere to all coronavirus-safety protocols during the strike.
In a statement, Mr Singh said the state government was fully with the farmers in their fight against the bills and no FIRs would be registered for violation of Section 144, which bars assembly of more than four people.
There should be no disturbance of law and order during the strike, the chief minister said. He appealed to the farmers to ensure that the citizens were not inconvenienced, and lives and property of people were not endangered due to the agitation.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh appealed to the people, including shopkeepers and commercial establishments, to keep their shop shut in support of the strike.
Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar also urged people to support the farmers and make the strike a success. The main opposition Aam Aadmi Party has already extended its support, while the Shiromani Akali Dal has announced to hold road blockades.
Farmers started a three-day rail blockade against the bills and squatted on tracks at many places in Punjab on Thursday. The farmer outfits have also decided to go for an indefinite rail blockade from October 1.
The protesters have expressed apprehension that the Centre's farm reforms would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system and they would be at the "mercy" of big corporates. The farmers said they would continue their fight till the three farm bills were revoked.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were passed by the Parliament earlier this week.
Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh said besides the outfit, some other farmer organisations had also extended their support to the nationwide strike.
"We have appealed that sit-ins should be held on state highways and other roads in a peaceful manner," Mr Singh said. "No sit-ins should be held on national highways."
Nobody should indulge in any kind of unlawful act during the strike from 10 am to 4 pm, Mr Singh said.
The BKU leader said the commission agents, shopkeepers and transporters had also been urged to support the strike.
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij held a meeting with officers of the home and police departments on Thursday to review the situation, and directed the DGP to ensure elaborate police arrangements to prevent any untoward situation, according to a statement.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)