Rail Services Disrupted in Punjab Due to Farmers' Strike

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Rail Services Disrupted in Punjab Due to Farmers' Strike

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Chandigarh:  Rail services were hit at several places in Punjab with farmers' outfits starting their two-day 'Rail Roko' agitation from today in protest against SAD-BJP government's "anti-farmer" policies.

As many as six trains have been stopped by protesting farmers at different places in Punjab, causing inconvenience to passengers, railway officials said today.

The protesters have so far stopped six trains including Amarpali Express (15707), Delhi Sarai-Ferozpur Cant intercity (14625), Rewari-Fazilka passenger train (54784) at different rail tracks such as Ludhiana-Ferozepur, Lohian-Phillaur, Bathinda-Ferozepur, they said.

Farmers in large numbers squatted on railway tracks to stop train movement.

In the wake of the agitation, railway authorities have deployed senior staff in Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Fazilka for faster implementation of decision such as train diversion to minimise the impact of agitation.

"I again appeal to farmers not to stop trains as it causes inconvenience to passengers," Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepur, Anuj Prakash said.

As part of their plan to intensify their agitation, as many as eight farmers' organisations including BKU Ekta (Dakunda), BKU Ekta (Ugrahan), BKU (Krantikari), Kirti Kisan Union are participating in Rail Roko agitation today and tomorrow.

Farmers had planned to disrupt rail services at about 12 places including Rampura in Bathinda, Mansa, Sunam in Sangrur, Moga, Beas, Phillaur in Jalandhar, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Patiala.

Among various demands, farmers in Punjab have been demanding Rs 40,000 per acre compensation for farmers whose crop got damaged by white-fly attack, Rs 20,000 per family compensation for farm labour, Rs 4,500 per quintal rate for basmati PUSA 1509 variety, and Rs 5,000 per quintal for basmati PUSA 1121 variety.

They have been also demanding higher compensation for cotton growers and remunerative rates for basmati crop.

Besides, they are seeking payments of sugarcane dues by private mills, debt relief and Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to the family of farmers who commit suicide.

Railways had already asked Punjab government to prevent protesting farmers from disrupting rail services, saying passengers had to face harrowing time because of such protests.

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