‘Rail Roko’ call evokes good response in Haryana
The national call for ‘Rail Roko’ by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha evoked good response in Haryana’s in Dadri, Bhiwani, Jind, Sonepat, Rohtak, Hisar , Fatehabad, Karnal, Ambala, Yamunanagar and other areas as farmers managed to block all major railway tracks in state.
However, no incidents of violence were reported in any district as heavy police deployment was made to avoid any untoward incident.
Railway officials said that no trains were cancelled or diverted from their original route but the affected trains halted at different railway stations were allowed to commence their journey after farmers lifted the blockade after 4pm.
As per schedule, farmers gathered near protest spots at around 10am, blocked the railway tracks at 12pm and opened the blockade at 4pm. During the protests, farmers prepared langars and served food to commuters and protesters.
The protesting farmers also burnt effigies of the Union government and raised slogans against the Prime Minister, Union agriculture minister and the Haryana chief minister.
In Karnal, the protesting farmers gathered at Gharaunda railway station and blocked rail track. In Kurukshetra, the farmers stopped Gita Jayanti Express and staged protests at the Kurukshetra railway station. Later, the protesting farmers carried out a cleanliness drive.
Farmer protests culminated peacefully at Ismaila village in Rohtak, Barsola in Jind, Bhiwani’s Bamla, Sui, Loharu, Siwani, Patuwas-Mehrana railway station in Dadri, Bhattu Kalan in Fatehabad, etc.
Dayanand Punia, state secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, said they had laid siege to railway tracks at four points in Bhiwani and one point in Dadri.
Balkishan Soni, station house master at Dadri said one passenger train running between Rewari and Ganga Nagar (Rajasthan) and a goods train plying between Hisar and Rewari were cancelled due to the protest.
Rohtak station house master Yashpal Meena said there are no major impacts due to protest.
This was the third major call of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha which is leading protests against three controversial farm laws and a law to guarantee minimum support price, as earlier they had organised a tractor rally on Republic Day in Delhi, and ‘Chakka Jam’ on February 6.
Protest in Ambala, Yamunanagar
Scores of farmers, led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) and others, blocked rail tracks in Ambala and Yamunanagar to protest against the three contentious farm laws.
In Ambala, a sit-in was observed on the tracks near Shahapur village along NH-44, where hundreds of farmers raised anti-government slogans. A woman protester, Lakshmi from Shahapur village, said, “I’m here to join my brothers and families of peasants against the black laws.”
In Yamunanagar, the farmers laid siege at the railway station.
District president of BKU (C), Sanju Gudiana, said, “This is just a warning. If the laws are not repealed, farmers will erect tents on rail tracks, indefinitely.”
Three trains affected
“Three trains had to be stopped at Ambala Cantt, Sirhind and Saharanpur railway stations due to the protest. Most trains have crossed into Ferozepur or Delhi division. No damage or untoward incident was reported and train operations started after 4:30pm,” railway officials said.
At Ambala Cantt, many passengers were seen waiting for their trains or for clarity on when their train will move.
Vinod Kumar, of Patna, who was travelling to Ludhiana for work in Shaheed Express (04673), said, “I was scheduled to reach by 2pm. But now, if I reach late, I’ll have to pay more for local transportation. I’ve no money left to buy something or board a bus instead.”
Aditi, who was in Ambala to visit her relatives, said, “We need to board a train for Mumbai and are stuck here for hours.”