Farmer unions on Saturday blocked national and state highways between 12 noon and 3 pm as part of their countrywide 'chakka jam', protesting the internet ban in areas near the agitation sites, harassment allegedly meted out to them by authorities and other issues.
During the Chakka Jam protest in Ludhiana, a flag with a portrait bearing resemblance to Bhindranwale was seen on a tractor, news agency ANI said, putting out a video of the same.
Bhindranwale, head of Sikh religious sec Damdami Taksal, was killed along with his armed followers during 'Operation Blue Star' launched by Indian Army at Golden Temple Complex in June 1984. He and his followers had occupied Harmandir Sahib and fortified Sikh shrine Akal Takht, from where they were allegedly running militant activities in Punjab.
Meanwhile, thousands of farmers have been protesting since late November at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations. However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.