Farmers` bodies call three-day `rail roko` protest in Punjab from September 28

  • | Monday | 25th September, 2023

BATHINDA: As many as nineteen farmer organizations in Punjab have jointly decided to stage rail blockades at 12 locations in various districts during a three-day protest beginning from September 28. The farmers intend to disrupt rail traffic in Moga, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Batala, Jalandhar Cantt, Tarn Taran, Sunam (Sangrur district), Nabha (Patiala district), Basti Tanka Wali, Mallanwala (Ferozepur district), Rampura Phool (Bathinda district), and Devidaspura (Amritsar district). This protest action is in response to various demands, including compensation for crop damage due to floods and guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops.A meeting was held in Chandigarh on Saturday, where leaders of the farmer organizations discussed and finalized the protest spots. Earlier, 16 farmer organizations had already come together for this planned rail blockade, and on Saturday, three more groups joined the platform.The decision to block rail traffic follows discussions with senior police officials from Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana on September 4 regarding the farmers demands related to flood relief and MSP implementation. The representatives of these farmer organizations from multiple states, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan, had announced their intention to disrupt rail traffic in Punjab for three days starting September 28. They had also staged protests at various locations at the beginning of the G20 summit on September 9.Its worth noting that earlier, farmer organizations had called for a protest in Chandigarh starting on August 22, but the police in Punjab and Haryana had prevented farmers from reaching Chandigarh through raids and clashes, resulting in the unfortunate death of a farmer named Pritam Singh during a confrontation between farmers and the police in Longowal, Sangrur.Sarwan Singh Pandher, the General Secretary of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, stated that preparations have been made for the rail blockade in Punjab as a first step, and further actions will be decided if the government does not address their demands.The farmer organizations have presented several demands, including a special package of Rs 50,000 crore for flood-affected states, a permanent solution to the Ghaggar rivulet issue, compensation of Rs 50,000 per acre for crop damage, Rs 1 lakh for each cattle death, compensation for property and tube well damage, a one-year waiver of all farmer loans and interest, and a legal guarantee of MSP for crops.

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