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    Latest NewsLocals and shopkeepers demonstrate against prolonged highway blockade at Shambhu protest site

    Locals and shopkeepers demonstrate against prolonged highway blockade at Shambhu protest site


    The ongoing blockade of the highway at Shambhu border by farmer unions protesting the Centre's farm laws has started facing opposition from local residents and shopkeepers, who have been bearing the brunt of inconvenience caused due to the road blockade.

    Hundreds of residents and traders from villages around Shambhu gathered at the protest site on Sunday to urge the farmer leaders to lift the blockade and reopen the highway for public use. The demonstrators said they have been facing difficulties in commuting to nearby towns for their daily activities due to the detour that had to be taken. The extra travel time and fuel costs have also hit them economically.

    The shopkeepers association from Ambala town, just across the border, also joined the protest. They highlighted how their businesses have taken a hit with customers preferring not to make the long journey due to the blockade. Two deaths from nearby villages due to delay in medical treatment deepened the resentment among locals who had been sympathetic to the farmer agitation initially.

    When their pleas were not heard by the farmer leaders, tensions rose and slogans were raised against the state government's failure to resolve the issue. The protestors warned that they would launch their own road blockade in three days if the highway is not cleared. However, the farmer union members termed the demonstrating locals and traders as “agents” of the ruling BJP and accused them of having ties with mining mafias.

    Talking to mediapersons, general secretary of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee leading the Shambhu blockade said it was another attempt by the Centre and state to disturb the peaceful agitation. The issue is still pending as both sides have refused to budge from their stances. The incident highlights the societal costs of prolonged protest actions.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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