Farmers agitating for the dismissal and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra in connection with the October 3 violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Monday disrupted the movement of more than 100 trains across 130 locations in the north as part of their ‘rail roko’ protest.
Mishra’s son has been arrested in the case but the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has said it plans to intensify protests till justice is secured. As part of the 10 am to 4 pm blockade on Monday, farmers squatted on railway tracks while security was deployed at train stations.
The chief public relations officer of Northern Railways in an official communique said “around 50 trains, 130 locations affected due to farmers agitation in Punjab and Haryana”, but the number of trains affected is expected to be much higher. Among others, the Ferozepur-Fazilka section in Ferozepur city and the Ferozepur-Ludhiana section at Ajitwal in Moga were hit.
The SKM had earlier put out a statement calling “its constituents to stop rail traffic for six hours on October 18, between 10 am and 4 pm”. The SKM asked for this action “to be taken up peacefully, without any destruction and damage of any kind to any railway property”.
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait was quoted as saying by NDTV: “This (rail roko) will take place at different places in different districts. The people there, all over the country, know where we have to stop the train. Government of India has not spoken to us yet.”
Farmers #RailRoko Update~
Visuals from #Sirsa,Haryana where farmers have blocked Railway Line!
Approx 160 passenger trains in all across India have been cancelled today!
There are hundreds of goods trains which have been halted too!#आज_रेल_बंद_है @Kisanektamorcha pic.twitter.com/1W6GnkL307
— Kisan IT Cell?✍️ (@Kisan_ItCell) October 18, 2021
Visuals at Jagraon railway station, district #Ludhiana. All set for dharna on tracks..#RailRoko #FarmersProtest @IndianExpress @iepunjab pic.twitter.com/Ab0ArZuV45
— raakhijagga (@raakhijagga) October 18, 2021
This is what Bahadurgarh railway station looks like right now.
Hundreds of farmers had taken over the railway tracks at 10AM and would continue to do so till 4PM today.
SKM is demanding dismissal of MoS Ajay Mishra and his arrest over #LakhimpurKheriViolence pic.twitter.com/S1weo7Pm1K
— Amit Bhardwaj (@tweets_amit) October 18, 2021
The New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express was halted near Shambu station as protesters blocked tracks near Sahnewal and Rajpura. The Chandigarh-Ferozepur Express was also reported to be stranded.
Rail traffic on the Bhiwani-Rewari, Sirsa-Rewari, Loharu-Hisar, Suratgarh-Bathinda, Sirsa-Bathinda, Hanumangarh-Bathinda, Rohtak-Bhiwani, Rewari-Sadulpur, Hisar-Bathinda, Hanumangarh-Sadulpur and Sri Ganganagar-Rewari sections has been affected due to the agitation, an NWR spokesperson said.
The Lucknow Police has reportedly said action will be taken against those participating in the andolan and that the stringent National Security Act will be invoked against those trying to disrupt normalcy.
The SKM is an umbrella body of farmer unions spearheading the agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws.
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