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Farmers block Amritsar-New Delhi rail traffic to press for debt waiver; 9 trains cancelled

Due to the blockade, 26 trains were affected, including nine that had to be cancelled.

punjab Updated: Sep 29, 2017 21:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Punjab farmers,farmer protest,farm debt waiver
Farmers demand full debt waiver by protesting against the Punjab government at Manawala railway station near Amritsar on Friday.(HT Photo)

Upping the ante against the Congress government on the crop debt waiver promise, hundreds of farmers blocked the Amritsar-Delhi rail route by sitting on dharna on the tracks at Manawala, 15 km from Amritsar, on Friday, for nearly five hour starting 1.30pm, under the banner of Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC). The protest ended after the deputy commissioner, Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, assured the farmers of a meeting with chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh on October 16.

Due to the blockade, 26 trains were affected, including nine that had to be cancelled. Those cancelled included the Amritsar-Jaynagar (Bihar) Shaheed Express, Amritsar-Bilaspur Chhattisgarh Express, Amritsar-Chandigarh Intercity, Amritsar-Howrah Express, Amritsar-Mumbai Golden Temple Mail, Amritsar-Dehradun Express, Bathinda-Jammu Tawi Express, Ferozepur -Ludhiana Sutlej Express, and Ferozepur-Mumbai Punjab Mail.

The Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express returned from Beas, while passengers of Amritsar-Ambala DMU faced harassment as they kept waiting for hours at Manawala station and it was sent back eventually to the Amritsar junction. Several trains were halted at Amritsar and nearby stations.

Harpreet Singh, spokesperson of the farmers’ committee, said, “We did not want to harass anyone, but the government is turning a blind eye to our demands. Farmers are dying and we will not end this struggle until the Congress fulfils its poll promises.”

At the station, a man named Kamal Sharma of Amritsar said, “I had to reach Jalandhar to meet my ailing brother. It’s an absolute failure of the intelligence of the Amritsar police. Farmers should also think of general public and especially the children in the train. Their struggle is with the state government, so why are they harassing people?”

First Published: Sep 29, 2017 18:30 IST