KMSC announces ‘rail roko’ stir in Punjab from Sept 30
The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) on Sunday announced a “rail roko’ stir in Punjab from September 30 if their demands, including the repeal of three farm laws, are not met.
The KMSC has a considerable hold in the Majha region of the state and some districts of Malwa. KMSC’s Punjab president Satnam Singh Pannu said: “We have planned to hold protests outside deputy commissioner offices in Punjab from September 28. If our demands are not met till then, we will be forced to take our protests to the railway tracks from September 30. We will also support the Bharat bandh call on September 27 in Punjab.”
Earlier, the KMSC had blocked the Amritsar-Delhi and Tarn Taran-Ferozepur railway tracks for 169 days demanding repeal of three farm laws. The blockade was suspended in March.
Besides repeal of farm laws, the KMSC is demanding a law ensuring minimum support price (MSP) of 23 crops, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, waiving of farmers’ debt, and government jobs and compensation of ₹5 lakh each to families of farmers who died during the agitation against the three farm laws at the Delhi border.
Farmers from different parts of the country have been protesting since November last year against the three farm laws, which the Centre has said are major agricultural reforms. However, the farmers fear that they will do away with the minimum support price or MSP system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. The government and farmer leaders held more than 10 rounds of talks but have failed to break the deadlock between the two sides.
Meanwhile, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has issued guidelines for the September 27 “Bharat bandh” against the three farm laws and said it would be peaceful and farmers will ensure that people do not face any inconvenience.
“The SKM has asked constituent organisations to appeal to all sections of society to join hands with farmers and publicise the bandh beforehand so that inconvenience to the public may be reduced. The bandh will be peaceful as well as voluntary and would exempt emergency services,” it said in the statement.
Central and state government offices, markets, shops, factories, schools, colleges and other educational institutions will not be allowed to function during the Bharat bandh by farmers, which will start at 6am and remain in force till 4pm. Public and private transport will not be allowed to ply on roads, the umbrella body of more than 40 farmer unions said. No public functions will be allowed and only emergency services, including ambulances and fire services, can function during the bandh, it added.