Bharat Bandh: Autorickshaws, taxis operate normally; shops open in Delhi
Autorickshaws and taxis plied normally and shops were open in Delhi on Monday, with their unions and associations extending only "in-principle support" to the Bharat Bandh called by farmers but deciding not to join the strike. The auto, taxi unions and traders bodies said their livelihood has already been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic so they weren't joining any strike.
We are in support of genuine farmers: Soni
Bharat Bandh has been called by farmers against the Centre's three farm laws. "Previously also we had supported Bharat Bandh by the farmers but continued to ply our autos and taxis. This time also we are in support of genuine farmers but not on strike," said Rajender Soni, general secretary of the Delhi Auto Taxi Union.
We cannot afford to go on strike: Sarvoday Driver Association
The Sarvoday Driver Association of Delhi, representing many drivers of cab aggregator platforms, also supported the farmers but did not join the strike. "We are in support of the farmers but our work was affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we cannot afford to go in their support by striking," said Kamaljeet Gill, president of the Association.
Markets were open as farmers didn't contact associations: CTI Chairman
"We are extending our moral and in-principle support to them and their demand while working normally," said Anuj Rathor, secretary of the Rashtriya Rajdhani Kshetra Auto Drivers Association. Meanwhile, markets and shops in the city were open as farmers have not contacted the associations for any strike, said Brijesh Goyal, Chairman of the Chamber of Trade and Industry(CTI).
Time for traders to recover some of the losses: Goyal
"Festival season is approaching and it's time for traders to recover some of the losses they faced due to the pandemic. Although we support the farmers and urge the government to meet their demand," he said. The government and farmer unions have held 11 rounds of talks so far, the last being on January 22, to break the deadlock and end the farmers' protest.
Parts of Delhi witnessed traffic snarls on Monday morning
Parts of the national capital witnessed traffic snarls on Monday morning as police closed some key roads to prevent any untoward incident during the Bharat Bandh. The Delhi Police has increased security checks at its border points which led to the slowing down of traffic and it informed commuters about road closures and traffic snarls on Twitter.
Police has beefed up security in border areas
According to police, roads around the historic Red Fort as well as the dual carriageway at the Ghazipur border were closed for traffic. "Traffic movement is closed on Red Fort on both the carriageways Chhatta Rail and Subhash Marg are closed from both sides Traffic movement is closed on Dhansa Border Both Carriageways (sic)," it tweeted. Police has beefed up security in border areas.
No protester is being allowed to enter Delhi: Official
Extra personnel has been deployed at the pickets especially across the border areas and every vehicle entering the national capital is being thoroughly checked, according to the police. Adequate security arrangements have been made to maintain the law and order situation. No protester is being allowed to enter Delhi from the three protest sites at the city's borders, a senior police officer said.