Farmers’ ‘rail roko’ throws services off track, passengers a harried lot
Threaten another agitation if Central Government fails to fulfil promises
On a call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), farmer unions on Sunday staged a protest for four hours at the railway station resulting in disruption of train services.
Leaders of the farmers said following the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 19, 2021, on the occasion of Parkash Purb of Guru Nanak Dev, the SKM had ended their agitation at Delhi borders, but the promises had not been fulfilled as yet.
During the protest, the farmers paid tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh on his martyrdom day today.
Farmer leaders Dr Satnam Singh Ajnala, Rattan Singh Randhawa, Balwinder Singh Dudala, Jatinder Singh Chhina and others said three major promises — constitution of a committee in association with farmers for enacting and implementing the law on the MSP, punishment for perpetrators of the crime at Lakhimpur Kheri in which gullible farmers were crushed under vehicles, jobs for kin of the farmers who died during the protest at Delhi borders — remained unfulfilled so far.
The leaders threatened that if the Central Government failed to fulfil its promises, another agitation would be launched in the near future. They said the massive participation of farmers in the ‘rail roko’ programme had made it clear that farmers felt cheated and were in no mood to forgive the government.
The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC), which is not part of the SKM, also organised a separate protest near Vallah village. KMSC leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said the government was selling the interests of the agriculture sector to big corporate houses. He said resentment was brewing among the farming community.
In Tarn Taran, braving heavy rain, farmers, including women, squatted on railway tracks in a large number. Owing to the protest, the train which left for Khemkaran in the morning was halted there. As a result, passengers had to face a lot of difficulty in reaching their destinations.
Besides Tarn Taran, dharnas were also staged on rail tracks in Patti, Harike and Khadoor Sahib. While addressing the protesters in Tarn Taran, Satnam Singh Pannu, state president of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Punjab, said the farmers had been seeking to extend the MSP to 23 crops and prices for the farmers’ products according to the recommendations of the report of the Swaminathan Committee.
Train passengers and their relatives were greatly inconvenienced with farmers squatting in a large number on railway tracks in the district on Sunday. The movement of several trains was disrupted at the Amritsar railway station. Five trains were cancelled, eight rescheduled and two short-terminated in Ferozepur division.
With no train service being allowed to ply, passengers and their relatives had to wait for hours at the station. Passenger amenities seemed insufficient as compared to a large number of people at the station. So, a majority of them were seen sitting on the platforms.
Baljit Singh, a passenger, said his family members were to travel to Ambala, but sudden disruption of rail traffic also sent their schedule haywire.
Altaf said he was to go to Qadian, but due to the cancellation of the train, he was forced to go to the bus stand to reach his destination.
The trains cancelled were: 06933 Amritsar-Pathankot, 06947/48 Amritsar-Qadian, 06983/84 Ludhiana-Lohian Khas, 06936/35 Pathankot-Verka and 01611/12 Ferozepur-Bathinda.
Eight rescheduled trains were: (04652) Amritsar-Jaynagar, (14674) Amritsar-Jaynagar, (12380) Amritsar-Sealdah, (22440) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra-New Delhi, (12498) Amritsar-New Delhi, (12030) Amritsar-New Delhi, (19614) Amritsar-Ajmer, and (14505) Amritsar-Nangaldam.
The two trains short-terminated were 04551 Bathinda-Fazilka and 04552 Fazilka-Bathinda.
Train movement disrupted
- The movement of several trains was disrupted at Amritsar railway station
- Five trains were cancelled, eight rescheduled and two short-terminated in Ferozepur division. With no train service being allowed to ply, passengers and their relatives had to wait for hours at the station
- Passenger amenities seemed insufficient as compared to a large number of people at the station. So, a majority of them were seen sitting on the platforms
(With inputs from Tarn Taran)
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