Farmers end rail blockade after 30 hours, let trains move on Amritsar-Delhi route
The agricultural trade unions’ Rail Roko agitation on the Amritsar-Delhi route ended on Tuesday after more than 30 hours but not before intensifying briefly on the death of a farmer, Joginder Singh, at Jandiala.punjab Updated: Apr 29, 2015 00:17 IST
The agricultural trade unions’ Rail Roko agitation on the Amritsar-Delhi route ended on Tuesday after more than 30 hours but not before intensifying briefly on the death of a farmer, Joginder Singh, at Jandiala.
The farmers opposing the non-purchase of wheat placed the body on the tracks and claimed that their comrade from Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC) had died during the protest, while the police claimed that he had been carried unconscious to the spot from a kilometre away.
Farmers didn’t let the police move the body to hospital. The blockade that started on Monday ended when the deputy commissioner announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the family of Joginder Singh and assured farmers that the entire wheat in the mandis would be procured. He also said that a meeting of the KSC representatives with the chief minister on May 7 had been fixed.
Holding the government responsible for the death of Joginder Singh, nearly 1,500 protesters had also raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Parkash Singh Badal. Reacting to it, Amritsar (rural) senior superintendent of police Jasdeep Singh had said: “Joginder Singh had been carried unconscious to the spot. We arranged a doctor for him quickly, who administered him an injection. We had an ambulance ready to take him to hospital, which the agitating farmers didn’t allow.”
The huge police contingent retreated suddenly on sensing that the situation was getting out of control. Terming Joginder Singh “a martyr”, KSC senior vice-president Sarwan Singh Pandher had raised the compensation demand and asked the government to ensure unconditional purchase of wheat and compensate farmers for any damage to crop because of untimely rain.
“We are told that lifting has started in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur. We want a guarantee that entire wheat will be lifted and farmer will have their payment in three days,” he added.
Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat, who had held various round of talks with the farmers, had to rush to the rail tracks after the news of the death had come in and extra force had been called from Gurdaspur, Pathankot, and Tarn Taran districts.
How it happened
Farmers block rail traffic on the Amritsar-Delhi route at 12.45pm on Monday
Farmers and the Amritsar administration have three unsuccessful rounds of talks on Monday
Farmers continue with the blockade on Tuesday, through the death of a comrade, and end it after more than 30 hours.