Farm bills: Farmers in Punjab block rail tracks for indefinite period

Chandigarh: Intensifying their protests against the new farm laws, farmers in Punjab on Thursday blocked rail tracks at many places in the state for an indefinite period as part of their ‘rail roko’ agitation.

Besides, farmers also said they have staged sit-ins outside houses of some BJP leaders.

A total of 31 farmers’ bodies had joined hands to intensify the agitation and they had announced to block rail tracks from October 1 for an indefinite period.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan on Thursday said farmers belonging to the 31 organisations have blocked rail tracks at many places in the state for an indefinite period to press the Centre to revoke new farm laws.

Kokrikalan said BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) has blocked rail tracks at Dhablan (Patiala), Sunam (Sangrur), Budhlada (Mansa) and Gidderbaha (Muktsar).

Some other farmers’ unions have also blocked rail tracks in Barnala, Ludhiana, Bathinda and other places.

Farmers under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee have been squatting at rail tracks in Amritsar and Ferozepur since September 24.

Kokrikalan said farmers have also staged sit-ins outside toll plazas in Sangrur, Barnala, Moga and Gurdaspur, besides holding ‘dharnas’ outside fuel pumps and shopping malls belonging to some corporate houses.

Farmers have already given a call to boycott some corporate houses and their products in the state.

According to them, the Centre wanted to “benefit” a few corporate houses with these “black laws”.

BKU (Dakunda) general secretary Jagmohan Singh said all the 31 farmers’ bodies have staged sit-ins at about 27 places in the state against the new farm laws.

Farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre’s farm reforms would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporates.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to the three contentious bills — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.

Source: The Economic Times


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