Punjab: Farmers' ‘rail roko’ protest hit train services; 150 passenger, 90 mail express cancelled so far. 10 points
Farmers in Punjab continue their 'rail roko' protest for financial aid, MSP guarantee, and other demands. Trains affected.
The ‘rail roko’ protest by the farmers in Punjab entered its third day today i.e. on 30 September. Farmers in large numbers squatted on tracks as part of their 'rail roko' agitation to demand a financial package for losses incurred in recent floods, a legal guarantee to MSP, withdrawal of cases regarding agitation in Delhi and compensation and jobs for families of farmers who died during the agitation. The three-day protest called by farmers in Punjab's Amritsar led by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee began on 28 September and will continue till today.
Northern Railway General Manager, Shobhan Chaudhuri spoke to news agency ANI about the ongoing farmers' protest and said that the movement of trains has been affected due to this. “Around 90 mail express trains and 150 passenger trains have been cancelled so far. We are assessing the situation...," he told ANI.
Here are 10 points you need to know
1. As per Northern Railway, Train Number 04591 from Ludhiana-Chheharata Special JCO from 28.09.2023 to 30.10.2023 shall be short terminated at Mananwala while 04592 Chheharata -Ludhiana Special JCO from 28.09.2023 to 30.10.2023 shall short originate from Mananwala. DRM Moradabad rail division Raj Kumar Singh said that several trains have been cancelled or delayed due to the protest today.
2. The stir is underway at 20 places in Punjab, including Faridkot, Samrala, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Tarn Taran, Sangrur, Patiala, Ferozepur, Bathinda and Amritsar.
3. Railway officials earlier told news agency PTI that some trains were cancelled, routes of several others were diverted while some were short-terminated due to the agitation. According to railway officials, 91 trains under the Ferozepur division were cancelled, 48 short-terminated, five short-originated and 35 diverted. They also added that 179 passenger and 14 goods trains have been impacted.
4. On Friday, the farmers also blocked the Chandigarh-Ambala-Delhi national highway for seven hours. A group of farmers owing allegiance to the Bharti Kisan Union (Sidhupur) squatted on the Chandigarh-Ambala-Delhi national highway near Lalru in Punjab and also parked their tractors along the highway. The blockade was lifted after seven hours following an assurance by the district administration authorities. The Punjab Police official said both sides of the highway were blocked during the day and traffic diverted through alternative routes.
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5. Several farmer groups, including the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee; Bharti Kisan Union (Krantikari); Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Azaad); Azaad Kisan Committee, Doaba; Bharti Kisan Union (Behramke); Bharti Kisan Union (Shaheed Bhagat Singh) and the Bharti Kisan Union (Chottu Ram), are participating in the protest.
6. What's next for farmers after 30 September? Harpal Singh Sangha, state chief of the Azad Kisan Committee, Doaba had told news agency PTI that the agitation will continue till Saturday. If the demands are not met by that time, the next course of action will be decided, he said as quoted by the agency.
7. The farmers are demanding a financial package for the flood-affected people in north India, a legal guarantee for minimum support price on all crops, and a debt waiver for farmers.
8. As per Farmer leader Gurbachan Singh, Farmers want a ₹50,000-crore flood relief package for north Indian states and MSP as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report, PTI has reported.
9. He has said that a waiver of the entire debt of farmers and labourers, and ₹10 lakh and a government job in compensation to the kin of each farmer who died during the agitation against the now-repealed three farm laws.
10. Earlier on 28 September, hundreds of railway passengers travelling to various destinations, including Delhi, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, were stranded at the Ambala Cantonment Railway Station in Haryana due to the protest. An elderly passenger at the Ludhiana railway station who was travelling to Patna told PTI, “The matter is between the Centre and the farmers. Why should passengers face harassment. Since yesterday, we have been waiting at the railway station, but there is no surety when our train will come."
(With inputs from ANI, PTI)
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