Farmers protesting against the Centre’s three farm laws have gathered in several parts of the country as part of the ‘rail roko’ call given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha. From Punjab to Patna, farmers were seen squatting on railway tracks demanding withdrawal of the farm laws passed by the Centre.
The railway stations of Sonipat, Ambala and Jind were completely blocked by the protesters in Haryana. Thousands of women protestors squatted on the railway track in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Panchkula and Fatehabad. Also, in Punjab, protesters sat on tracks at many places on the Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar railway route. Farmers have also blocked the Jalandhar Cantt-Jammu railway track in Jalandhar and in Mohali district. Farmers from Orissa staged a ‘rail roko’ protest against the Centre’s farm laws in Baleswar.
Train services have been stopped in several parts of the country as part of precautionary measure. Security has been tightened in Punjab and Haryana, with the deployment of the railway and the state police. The protesting farmers’ at Delhi borders has also been put under a security blanket after the violence that erupted in tractor rally on Republic Day.
After the tractor rally and chakka jaam, ‘rail roko’ is the third major protest by the farmers who are demanding to repeal farm laws. Several rounds of talks have failed to break the deadlock between the farmers’ unions and the government.
Last week, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha had given the nationwide rail roko call to press its demand to repeal the farm laws.
Over the last weeks, the farmers protesting at the Delhi borders have been moving out to states as a part of their new strategy to expand the protest across the country.
Earlier, the farmers have refused to accept the government’s offer to freeze laws for 18-months.