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Day 3 protest: Farmers to block trains today, hold round 3 talks with Centre

Feb 15, 2024 11:17 AM IST

Farmers' Delhi Chalo protest: 3 Union ministers will meet farmers' leaders in Chandigarh for the third round of talks amid stand-off at Haryana, Punjab borders.

Several major farmers’ unions have extended their support to the protesting farmer unions at Shambhu border and Khanauri border in Punjab, with the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and BKU Dakaunda (Dhaner faction) announcing a ‘rail roko’ (stop trains) in the state on Thursday between 12 noon and 4 pm on Thursday, February 15. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 37 farm unions, have also supported the ongoing protests. The protesters are demanding a minimum support price or MSP for their crops.

A protester uses water to disperse tear gas, as farmers march towards New Delhi to press for better crop prices promised to them in 2021, at Shambhu, a border crossing between Punjab and Haryana. (REUTERS)
A protester uses water to disperse tear gas, as farmers march towards New Delhi to press for better crop prices promised to them in 2021, at Shambhu, a border crossing between Punjab and Haryana. (REUTERS)

These unions had played key roles in the protests on Delhi’s fringes in 2021 and have joined the current protests citing the “condemnable use of violence” against farmers. BKU (Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan has slammed the police action.

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“We stand with them in solidarity. To prove it, our supporters will hold rail roko (stop trains) at as many places as we can,” he announced. The organisation will block train tracks in Punjab between 12pm and 4pm on Thursday, he said, a day before the larger nationwide strike planned for February 16. Follow Live Updates on farmers' protest

Farmers' 'Delhi chalo' protest: Key points

  • The Indian Express reported that nearly 10 protest sites have been finalised for the rail roko protest in which the BKU Ugrahan and BKU Dakaunda (Dhaner faction) will participate jointly, and more locations are likely to be added by evening.
  • Rajpura, Sunam (near Shambu and Khanauri borders, respectively), Jethuke village in Bathinda, Moga, Mansa, Malaut, Valla railway crossing in Amritsar, Barnala, Sangrur, Budhlada have been selected as the rail roko protest locations, the report added. This will affect the Amritsar-Jalandhar-Delhi line, the Mansa-Bathinda-Delhi line, Ludhiana-Ferozepur line, and many other locations, Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, the general secretary of BKU Ugrahan, said.
  • On Thursday, three Union ministers will meet farmers' leaders in Chandigarh for the third round of talks as the stand-off between the protesters and police at the Punjab-Haryana border entered its third day, marked by more clashes between the two sides. The two earlier meetings, held before the march began, remained “inconclusive”.
  • Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said the meeting will be held with union ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai at 5pm.
  • Meanwhile, defence minister Rajnath Singh and agriculture minister Arjun Munda held discussions in New Delhi on addressing the farmers' issues, reports claimed.
  • On Wednesday, at the Shambhu border point near Ambala, there was intermittent shelling by security personnel at the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protesters. Security forces used tear smoke whenever any group of farmers moved towards the barricades. Reports claimed that security personnel faced stone-pelting from the protesters.
  • A similar stand-off was witnessed continued at the Data Singhwala-Khanauri border in Haryana's Jind district. But the situation remained less volatile compared to Tuesday, when farmers tried to shift cement barriers at Shambhu with their tractors, attempting to push towards the national capital.
  • Farmer leaders claimed that over 100 protesters were hurt Tuesday, hit by rubber bullets and tear gas shells. Police said 24 of their own men were injured in the stone-pelting by protesters during the first day of the protest.
  • At the Shambhu border, farmers with their tractor-trolleys lining the road and more arriving from different parts of Punjab, are still over 200 km from their destination.
  • Multiple layers of concrete blocks and metal spikes are put in place at Delhi’s Singhu and Tikri borders with Haryana as well as at the Ghazipur border with Uttar Pradesh. Delhi-Sonipat traffic at Singhu and the movement of vehicles to Bahadurgarh.
  • In Delhi, commuters faced a tough time at the Singhu border due to the sealing of the area and the heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces

(With inputs from agencies)

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