No untoward incident amid ‘Rail Roko’, negligible impact on services: Railways

  • The Railways tightened security and deployed additional forces across Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal ahead of the agitation. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) had deployed 20 additional companies, or around 2,000 personnel, across the four states.
Farmers blocked rail tracks at Sonipat station in Haryana during their nationwide Rail Roko agitation on Thursday. (Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO).
Farmers blocked rail tracks at Sonipat station in Haryana during their nationwide Rail Roko agitation on Thursday. (Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO).
Published on Feb 18, 2021 08:38 PM IST
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By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sohini Sarkar

The four-hour long ‘Rail Roko’ agitation on Thursday called by farmers against the Centre's three agriculture laws ended without any untoward incident, the ministry of railways said on Thursday adding that the majority of the railway zones reported no incident due to the protest.

Ahead of the protesting farmers’ call for a four-hour rail blockade across the country from 12 noon to 4 pm on Thursday, the railways tightened security and deployed additional forces across Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, according to officials aware of the development.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) had deployed 20 additional companies, or around 2,000 personnel, across the four states. Regulating trains means that the trains have either been cancelled, short terminated or re rerouted.

In total 25 trains along the Northern Railways zones were “regulated,” railways said.

“The Rail Roko agitation passed off without any untoward incident. There was negligible or minimal impact on running of the trains across the country. Train movement in all the zones is normal now,” the spokesperson for the ministry said.

“Majority of the zones have not reported a single case of any stoppage of train by the agitators. Few trains were stopped in some areas of some Railway Zones but now train operation is normal and trains are being operated smoothly. While dealing with the Rail Roko agitation, utmost patience was exercised by all concerned,” he added.

Within an hour of the agitation being over, the Railways said that all its services were running normally across the country.

Farmer groups had called for a Rail Roko agitation on Thursday in a bid to amplify their protest against the three contentious farm laws. Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a united front of farmers’ unions, is spearheading the agitation.

Earlier, farmers in Punjab had called for rail blockades across the state in September last year in protest against the farm laws, resulting in complete suspension of trains in the state for nearly two months. In November, amid the tussle between the Centre and the Punjab government over allowing the passage of trains in the state, the Railways claimed losses of nearly 1,200 crore in freight revenue with more than 2,225 goods trains suspended and 1,350 passenger trains cancelled and diverted.

The railway ministry had also informed Parliament last week that it suffered losses of 1,462.45 crore in FY 2020-21 due to “various agitations/strikes including dharnas at platforms and near tracks”.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021