Famers' unions across the country have called for a 'Bharat Bandh' in view of the three contentious farm bills passed in Parliament.
Several political parties including the Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Trinamool Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal have come out in support of the call for protests.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), All India Farmers Union (AIFU), All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) and All India Kisan Mahasangh (AIKM) are among the ten unions that have demanded the shutdown.
The three farm bills passed by Parliament are: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance; and Farm Services Bill and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.
Punjab and Haryana have been the epicentre of the farmers' protests. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has urged the farmers to maintain law and order and to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols. No FIR will be registered for the violation of Section 144 during the protest, the CM assured.
While Delhi-Haryana border is likely to be sealed, a three-hour road blockade will be observed across Punjab starting 11am to 2pm.
"Nothing will work in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh on Friday," Bharatiya Kisan Union president Rakesh Takait said.
States including, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Uttarakhand will be affected by the protests. Farmers have been protesting for weeks in these states by blocking roads and railway tracks and restricting movement of essential goods.
Fourteen special passenger trains running from the railways' Ferozepur division have been cancelled from September 24 to 26 in view of the farmer union's three-day rail roko protest.
Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurances, farmer bodies have expressed apprehension that the three bills, passed in Parliament, will scrap the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.
"In the last few years, the NDA govt made full efforts to connect farmers with banks. Over Rs 1 lakh crores transferred to over 10 crore farmers under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Our effort was to provide KISAN credit cards to more & more farmers so they can avail loans easily," PM Modi said on September 25.