Press Trust of india

Farmers continue to block rail tracks in Punjab

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Chandigarh:  Farmers in Punjab continued their ‘rail’ roko agitation on Saturday at several places in the state in protest against the three farm Bills passed by Parliament recently.

The movement of trains in the state continued to remain suspended in the wake of farmers’ stir.

Farmers have been protesting on rails tracks at many places in the state since September 24. The call for the ‘rail roko’ agitation was given by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and later, different farmers’ outfits had extended their support to it.

Squatting on rails tracks, agitating farmers on Saturday shouted slogans against the BJP-led government at the Centre and demanded the rollback of the farm Bills which they described as “black laws”.

In Amritsar, a group of protesting farmers went shirtless to express their anger against the farm Bills.

“Farmers have taken off their ‘kurtas’ and shirts to make the government hear our voice,” said Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher over the phone.

Bare-chested protesters, sitting on Amritsar-Delhi rail track, raised slogans against the BJP-led central government.

The Committee on Friday had announced to extend its three-day ‘rail roko’ agitation from September 26 till September 29.

The ‘rail roko’ agitation had started on Thursday, forcing the railway authorities to suspend the operation of 14 pairs of special passenger trains in the state.

Farmers under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) blocked rail tracks in nine districts.

BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan said the rail tracks were blocked at Mansa, Barnala, Nabha (Patiala), Chhahjli (Sangrur), Rampura (Bathinda), Ajitwal (Moga), Kotkapura (Faridkot), Gidderbaha (Muktsar), Jalalabad (Fazilka).

He said elders, women, youth and children also participated in protests.

Farmers would force the government with a series of protests and agitations to withdraw the farm Bills, he said, adding that these Bills would only “benefit” big corporates.

Farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre’s farm reforms would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system and they would be at the “mercy” of big corporates. The farmers said they would continue their fight till the three farm bills were revoked.

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 were passed by the Parliament earlier this week.

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