With the Congress already having announced an hour of ‘Rail Roko’ agitation against slow wheat procurement in the state, the horrific incident in Moga three days ago added ammunition to it, as the party on Saturday demanded the resignation of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Scores of workers led by Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh assembled near the Sirhind railway station and stopped the Paschim Express and two other trains at the Brahman Majra crossing nearby for an hour and 20 minutes. They climbed atop the train engine, unfurled banners, and raised slogans. “In Delhi, the license of a cab operator was cancelled under similar circumstances, but in Punjab, the Orbit bus owner does not even face a case,” said Bajwa.
Not only the company’s license should be cancelled but also a case of causing death by negligence should be registered against Sukhbir, said the Congress leader, apologising to commuters after the protest. “Farmers are crying across the state. We had no other way to send our message across to the state government,” he told them.
Fatehgarh Sahib legislator Kuljit Singh Nagra and Bassi Pathana MLA Nirmal Singh also addressed the workers.
26 HELD IN AMRITSAR
AMRITSAR: The police had arrested 26 protesters during the Congress agitation until the filing of this report. District Congress Committee (urban) president Rajiv Bhagat; DCC (rural) president Gurjeet Singh Aujla led the blockade at the Amritsar railway station.
GURDASPUR: The Congress leaders and workers led by Dera Baba Nanak legislator and District Congress Committee president Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa took on the government, saying the Badals had failed the people of Punjab on all fronts.
Fatehgarh Churian MLA Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa; Qadian MLA and wife of Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa, Charanjit Kaur Bajwa; and Dinanagar MLA Aruna Choudhary were present.
PRENEET LEADS STIR
PATIALA: Former Union minister and local legislator Preneet Kaur accused the state government of harassing farmers and labourers. She said farmers were unable to sell their produce and labourers were not getting their genuine wages. “Now there is problem of even law and orders, as the state government patronises the transport, cable, and sand mafia,” said Preneet.
COPS RESIST 300
PATHANKOT: Nearly 300 Congress workers tried to block railway traffic at the Pathankot Cantonment station. Led by district party president Anil Vij, they met resistance from the police, who arrived there in large numbers to prevent chaos.
MP JOINS PROTEST
JALANDHAR: Congress leaders, including Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh; and former ministers Chaudhary Jagjeet Singh, Avtar Henry, Amarjeet Singh Samra participated in the ‘Rail Roko’ protest. Henry and Punjab Mahila Congress president Kittu Grewal exchanged arguments when Henry raised the slogan “Congress Murdabad” all of a sudden by mistake.
In Phagwara, Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira and senior leader Joginder Singh Mann participated in another protest. At Nawanshahr, MLA Guriqbal Kaur Babli led the team that stopped a DMU run from Jalandhar to Jaijon Doaba at Banga railway crossing.
HOSHIARPUR: Congress workers led by district party president Sunder Sham Arora and district in-charge Harminder Singh Gill held a protest at the Tanda railway station.
They gathered in large numbers on the railway tracks in anticipation of the Jammubound Amarnath Express but the train was halted at Cholang for about 45 minutes until the dharna was lifted. Former Union minister Santosh Chowdhary and state party vice-president Sangat Singh Gilzian also participated.
SANGRUR: Former local MP Vijay Inder Singla along with his supporters stopped the Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi Express for over an hour. Singla said the protest was also against the unfortunate bus incident in Moga and condemned Union minister of food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal for her feigning ignorance about the ownership of the Orbit bus company.
Demanding the resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the ex-MP said she has no moral right to continue in office.