Punjab: Train services hit as farmers’ ‘rail roko’ protest over MSP, flood compensation enter 2nd Day

Punjab, India – Train services in Punjab faced severe disruptions as farmers’ ‘rail roko’ agitation entered its second day today. Large numbers of farmers gathered on railway tracks as part of their protest, demanding a financial package to aid those affected by recent floods, a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP) on all crops, withdrawal of cases related to their previous agitation in Delhi, and compensation along with jobs for the families of farmers who lost their lives during the protests.

According to railway officials, the agitation has resulted in the cancellation of some trains, diversion of routes for several others, and short termination of a few services due to the ongoing three-day stir.

Shobhan Chaudhuri, the General Manager of Northern Railway, expressed, “The movement of trains has been affected due to the farmers’ protest in Punjab as they are sitting on the tracks. Around 90 mail express trains and 150 passenger trains have been cancelled so far. We are assessing the situation…”

The protesting farmers, led by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, have announced that their agitation against the Union government will continue until September 30th. Various farmer groups, including the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Bharti Kisan Union (Krantikari), BKU (Ekta Azaad), Azaad Kisan Committee Doaba, BKU (Behramke), BKU (Shaheed Bhagat Singh), and BKU (Chottu Ram), are actively participating in the protest.

The protest is simultaneously taking place at 17 different locations in Punjab, including Moga, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Tarn Taran, Sangrur, Patiala, Ferozepur, Bathinda, and Amritsar.

In Amritsar, farmers occupied the Amritsar-Delhi railway track in Devidas Pura. Meanwhile, in Hoshiarpur, members of the Azad Kisan Committee, Doaba, staged a dharna at the local railway station. Farmer leader Gurbachan Singh has stated that if their demands are not met by the end of September, they will decide on their next course of action.

The ongoing agitation has left many rail passengers stranded in Punjab and Haryana, with one elderly passenger at the Ludhiana railway station lamenting, “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.”

What Farmers Are Demanding:

The farmers are demanding:

  1. A ₹50,000-crore flood relief package for the flood-affected regions in northern India.
  2. A legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on all crops, in accordance with the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report.
  3. A complete debt waiver for farmers and laborers.
  4. ₹10 lakh in compensation and a government job for the kin of each farmer who lost their life during the agitation against the now-repealed three farm laws.

News Summary:

  • Farmers’ ‘rail roko’ protest in Punjab disrupts train services, with numerous cancellations and diversions.
  • The agitation, involving various farmer groups, demands a flood relief package, MSP guarantee, and debt waivers.
  • Protesters vow to continue their agitation until September 30th if their demands are not met.
  • Passengers face uncertainty and inconvenience due to the ongoing rail disruptions.

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