No disturbances, train cancellations in Delhi, say police on farmers’ ‘rail roko’ protests
Amid the ongoing ‘rail roko’ protests by farmers protesting against the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, the railway police in Delhi on Monday said that there were no disturbances or train cancellations at the national capital due to the agitation. The police also said they were patrolling all railway stations and tracks, even as farmers occupied the tracks in neighbouring Haryana and Punjab.
“The Government Railway Police (GRP) is patrolling all railway stations and tracks. Till now, there are no reports of a disturbance at any railway tracks or cancellation of trains. We are working in close coordination with the GRP of neighbouring states,” news agency ANI quoted deputy commissioner of police (railways) Harendra Kumar Singh as saying.
Singh’s remarks came even as around 50 trains and 130 locations were impacted by the protesting farmers in Punjab and Haryana, ANI reported citing the Northern Railway’s spokesperson.
Meanwhile, in Uttar Pradesh, the police said that no trains were stopped and they were holding talks with the protesting farmers. Also, a heavy deployment of security personnel has been done as a precautionary measure. “As a precautionary measure, we have deployed around 160 PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) companies, nine paramilitary companies. Officers have been sent to important and sensitive districts,” ANI quoted Prashant Kumar, Lucknow additional director general of police, law and order as saying.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers’ unions spearheading the farmers’ protests against the three farms laws, called for the agitation to block trains across the country. The six-hour ‘rail roko’ between 10am and 4pm on Monday was called to protest the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, where eight people, including four farmers, were killed earlier this month. Several videos emerged of the incident which showed a vehicle ramming into a group of protesting farmers killing four of them. The ensuing violence in the place also saw the death of two more BJP workers, a journalist and the vehicle’s driver.
While farmers have alleged that Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’, was present in one of the vehicles that ran over the farmers in Lakhimpur, the minister and his son have denied the claim. Ashish Mishra has been arrested in connection with the case.
Farmer bodies have called for the resignation of Ajay Mishra, a demand which has also been supported by several opposition political parties in the country. Earlier, the SKM warned that the protests would intensify if the minister was not removed from his position by October 11, a deadline that ended a week ago. However, the minister continues to remain in his position.