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Rashmi Ranjan

The normal life in different parts of Odisha has been affected on Monday as various organisations staged protests in support of the 10-hour-long Bharat Bandh by Samyukt Kisan Morcha against the Centre's three contentious agriculture laws.

Educational institutions remained closed in several districts while public transport like bus and train services have been adversely affected due to the bandh.  The bus services of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) have also been suspended from 6 am to 3 pm on Monday in the wake of nationwide strike.

Similarly, business establishments remained shut in many parts of the State. However, emergency services continue to remain unaffected.

The agitators including the workers of Congress and other Left parties staged road blockade at different places in Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Rourkela, Balasore, Bolangir and other districts in the State.

Besides, the protestors also staged a rail roko at Bhubaneswar railway station affecting rail services in the State capital.

Trade and bank unions along with several non-NDA parties including Congress have backed the strike called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of over 40 farm unions.

“The farmers are on strike since last 10 months. But, PM Modi did not get time to discuss the issue with the agitating farmers. We have chosen PM Modi to look after the 130 citizens of India, but they are more concerned about Amabi and Adani. We are observing the bandh demanding the repeal of the three farm laws,” said an agitator in Bhubaneswar.

Notably, the farmers from different parts of the country, especially from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi's borders since last November, demanding the repeal of the farm laws over fears that it would do away with the minimum support price, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

The three laws -- Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act -- were passed by Parliament in September last year. President Ram Nath Kovind had also given assent to the three farm bills.

The government has been projecting the three laws as major agricultural reforms.

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