Hundreds of activists of the Kissan Sangharsh Committee (KSC), who had been sitting on a dharna for the past six days, blocked the Amritsar-New Delhi rail route by sitting on the rail track, meters away from the railway station here on the seventh day of their protest .
No train entered or left the city. Even Shatabdi Express and Shan-e-Punjab trains, that come from New Delhi, were halted at the Manawala railway station, about 12 km from here.
The farmers took the local administration by surprise, as after lifting the dharna from outside the DC office, they suddenly moved towards the Bhandari bridge and sat on the rail tracks under it.
The main Amritsar-New Delhi rail route has been blocked affecting the movement of all trains coming to and going from the holy city. On Sunday afternoon at around 1:50 pm, the farmers gathered on the rail tracks blocking the mainline.
Raising slogans against the Punjab government for its alleged anti-farmer policies, the KSC announced it as a ‘pakka dharna’ saying that they won’t lift it till their demands were met. The farmers are demanding waiver of every kind of debt on farmers, compensation of `10 lakh each to families of the farmers who have committed suicide under the pressure of debt, a government job to one of the members of the victim family, residential plots to labourers, electronic equipment to the applicants of new tubewell connections and also compensation for the loss borne by farmers during lathicharge on them in 2014. Deputy commissioner Varun Roojam and police commissioner Amar Singh Chahal held meetings with farmers to lift the blockade, but to no avail.
Several commuters were left stranded on the railway station. The authorities were concerned about the inconvenience to the people, but they were not able to convince the farmers to lift the blockade till the filing of the report.
Trains will not be effected: DC
Camping at the railway station since the afternoon, the deputy commissioner said that no train will be disrupted as a plan has been worked out and diversions have been made.
He said that the trains coming towards Amritsar will halt at the Manawala station while those departing from here will be diverted though Tarn Taran.
He said that talks were on with the government and a decision will be taken late in the evening.