Punjab farmers' 'rail roko' stir enters third day; commuters bear the brunt
The agitation has hit the movement of trains, with many being cancelled, short-terminated or diverted, railway officials said
The ‘rail roko’ stir of Punjab farmers demanding compensation for crops damaged in the recent floods, a legal guarantee on MSP and a sweeping debt waiver entered its third day on Saturday (September 30).
The agitation has hit the movement of trains, with many being cancelled, short-terminated or diverted, railway officials said.
The farmers have resorted to blockade of railway tracks at several places in Faridkot, Samrala, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Tarn Taran, Sangrur, Patiala, Ferozepur, Bathinda and Amritsar since Thursday as part of their three-day agitation.
The protest has left hundreds of rail passengers stranded in Punjab and Haryana. A railway passenger at Ludhiana station said he arrived from Jalandhar City by road to take a train to Gorakhpur but there is no information on when it will arrive.
Another passenger at the station said the agitation forced the cancellation of a train from Amritsar in which 12 of his family members were supposed to travel to Bihar. They later learnt that the train would depart from Ludhiana. However, there is still no update about the train, he added.
The farmers’ agitation has directly affected the Ambala and the Ferozepur railway divisions, officials have said. Several farmer groups, including the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee; BKU (Krantikari); BKU (Ekta Azaad); Azaad Kisan Committee, Doaba; BKU (Behramke); BKU (Shaheed Bhagat Singh) and the BKU (Chottu Ram), are participating in the three-day protest.
The three-day protest is scheduled to end on Saturday, the agitating farmers have said. Their demands include a financial package for the flood-affected people in north India, a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for all crops and a debt waiver for farmers.
The farmers want a Rs 50,000-crore flood relief package for north Indian states and MSP according to the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report.
They are also demanding a waiver of the entire debt of farmers and labourers, and Rs 10 lakh and a government job as compensation to the kin of each farmer who died during the agitation against the now-repealed three farm laws.
(With agency inputs)