Farmers won't stop goods trains

Protest continues at toll plazas, petrol pumps of Reliance Group

Farmers won't stop goods trains

Farmers protest on railway tracks at Devidas Pura near Amritsar.

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21

Even as the rail roko agitation of farmer organisations continues, protesters have decided to allow the movement of goods trains following the Chief Minister’s appeal to give some relaxations in the protest. Farmer leaders said passenger trains would not be allowed to run. The rail roko programme would continue till November 5 and they would be meeting again on that day to chalk out the future course of action.

As the agitation at the Buttari railway station entered the 21st day on Wednesday, the farmers passed a resolution demanding action against those smuggling paddy from Uttar Pardesh and other states.

The protesters said traders in UP and Bihar were purchasing paddy at half of the MSP and then smuggling it into Punjab and Haryana, where the crop was again sold at the MSP.

“The practice is not in the interest of farmers as during the data calculation, the paddy from UP is added to the total produce from Punjab. It gives inflated figures about per acre yield in our fields,” said farmer leaders.

Meanwhile, the protest at toll plazas and petrol pumps operated by Reliance Group continues. As the toll operators have closed the fast tag intersections, long queues of vehicles can be seen on slip roads alongside the toll barriers.

Though most farmer organisations have hailed the state Assembly’s move of passing three Bills to counter the farm laws enacted by the Union Government last month, some unions, especially the Kirti Kisan Union, have expressed dissatisfaction claiming that the state government’s laws are “toothless and will not benefit farmers in large”.

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