With the Congress already having announced a 'Rail Roko' agitation to protest against the bungling in wheat procurement in the state, the horrific events in Moga over the past three days gave party workers added ammunition to ramp up their protest on Saturday and demand the resignation of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Scores of Congress workers led by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief assembled near the Sirhind railway station and stopped the Paschim Express and two other trains at the Brahman Majra crossing adjacent to the Sirhind Railway junction for one hour 20 minutes. Workers climbed atop the train's engine, unfurled banners and shouted slogans.
Bajwa said, "This is a shameful phase in Punjab. In Delhi, the licence of the cab operator owner was cancelled under similar circumstances, but here Orbit bus owner Sukhbir Singh Badal does not even face a case. The licence of the transport company should be cancelled and a case for causing death due to negligence be registered against Sukhbir."
"The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has cheated farmers as all its promises have proved false. The government should give `25,000 per acre for crop damage and a bonus of Rs 200 per quintal on wheat. Haryana has started giving compensation, while Punjab is yet pay farmers for procurement," Bajwa added.
"Badals had been alleging
step-motherly treatment during the UPA rule, but now with the NDA government at the centre, what is the excuse for non-performance," he added.
Bajwa added that the Congress would provide economic and political help to the family of the minor victim Arshdeep Kaur.
After the protest, Bajwa apologised to the commuters, "Farmers are crying across the state. We had no other way to send our message across to the state government," he said.
Fatehgarh Sahib Congress MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra and Amloh MLA Kaka Randeep Singh also addressed the supporters. "The Congress will protest at the Orbit transport company office in Bathinda on May 3 and all of the company's buses will be blocked in Mohali on May 4."
Meanwhile, Sirhind railway station superintendent RP Sharma said the protests remained peaceful. "The Amritsar to Bandra Paschim Express and two goods trains were stopped. There was some disturbance of the schedule," he said.
Badals had been alleging
step-motherly treatment during the UPA rule, but now with the NDA government at the centre, what is the excuse for non-performance. Partap Singh Bajwa, PPCC chief