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Farmers' 3-hr 'rail roko' brings region to halt

Release of Sikh prisoners, cleansing of rivers, eradication of drug menace among key demands raised

Farmers' 3-hr 'rail roko' brings region to halt

Farmers squat on the track to press for their demands at the Jalandhar Cantt Railway Station on Sunday. Photo: Sarabjit Singh



Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 29

Farmers owing allegiance to the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) on Sunday blocked the rail traffic at the Jalandhar Cantt Railway Station for three hours as part of their action at 15 railway stations across 12 districts in the state seeking the release of Sikh prisoners, action against Lakhimpur Kheri culprits, cleansing of river waters, eradication of drug menace, etc. At least nine trains in the state were fully cancelled due to their protest.

Passengers wait for their trains at the railway station during the protest. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

KMSC’s Jalandhar president Salwinder Singh Jania, Kapurthala president Sarwan Singh Baupur and workers held a rail chakka jam protest and kept rail traffic blocked for three hours on the tracks at the railway station. State organisation secretary Sukhwinder Singh Sabhra and state treasurer Gurlal Singh Pandori were also present on the occasion.

Arrest those who targeted KSMC

During the ‘Kisan Andolan’, the KMSC’s platform was attacked on January 29, 2021. The government must arrest the perpetrators and punish them. Also, compensation of Rs 5 lakh be given to the families of ‘martyred’ farmers. —Savinder Singh Chutala, KMSC leader

Addressing the gathering, KMSC leaders raised the following key demands: strict action against the perpetrators of the Lakhimpur Kheri farmer murders as well as those who carried desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib; Rs 5 lakh compensation, jobs and debt pardons to the farmers who died during the ‘Kisan Andolan’ at Delhi; release of Sikh prisoners and other prisoners who had served their entire sentences; removal of dearth of urea and other agricultural fertilisers; law to guarantee MSP on 23 crops; rollback of increased oil prices; implementation of the Swaminathan report; eradication of drugs across the state; mandatory water treatment plants at Jalandhar factories on the Sutlej, Beas, streams, etc.; regular checks and functionality of plants; treatment of dirty factory and sewage water at Ludhiana and Phillaur among other areas and it being re-routed to drains to irrigate fields; and drain and canal water systems to provide water at tail ends of these tributaries.

Leaders also condoled the demise of Bibi Devinder Kaur, wife of KMSC president Satnam Singh Pannu. They warned if their demands were not met, they will announce their next big action soon.

In Tanda Urmar, the Hoshiarpur unit of KMSC organised a ‘rail roko’ agitation at the Tanda Railway Station from 1 pm to 4 pm today. Under the leadership of district president Paramjit Singh Bhulla and general secretary Kuldeep Singh Begowal, the organisation raised its voice for the demands of farmers and labourers.

State leaders Savinder Singh Chutala, Jagdeep Singh Jaggi and Kashmir Singh during the dharna on the railway track addressed the protesters. They said during the ‘Kisan Andolan’, the KMSC’s platform was attacked on January 29, 2021. The government must arrest the perpetrators and punish them. A large number of officers and employees of Railway and Punjab Police were present for security on this occasion. Before the rail roko , farmers paid tribute to Bibi Devinder Kaur.

(With inputs from Hoshiarpur)

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