Farmer unions to hold 4-hour nationwide ‘Rail Roko’ protest against Centre’s new agri laws

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), however, appealed to everyone for a peaceful protest in nationwide Rail Roko programme. It demanded that the government should resolve the farmers` issues immediately without any further delay.”
Farmers

New Delhi: Farmers organisations will hold a nationwiderail roko` programme for 4 hours on Thursday (February 18) as they continue their protest against the Centre’s new farm laws. The peaceful protest is scheduled to be organised today from 12 noon to 4 pm.

Jagtar Singh Bajwa, spokesperson of the Kisan Andolan Committee, Ghazipur border said they will carry out a peaceful protest during the Rail Roko programme, adding “We will offer refreshments to the passengers to avoid inconvenience.”

Bajwa told ANI, “We will carry out a peaceful protest in the nationwide Rail Roko program on February 18, from 12 pm to 4 pm. We`ll offer refreshments to passengers to avoid inconvenience.”

“We will welcome trains and passengers will flower garlands. We have intensified the campaign to keep farmers active on social media. We instructed dozens of farmers today and also created their profiles on social media,” he added.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), however, appealed to everyone for a peaceful protest in nationwide Rail Roko programme. It demanded that the government should resolve the farmers` issues immediately without any further delay.”

The SKM took note of the high-level meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of JP Nadda with elected party leaders and others from Haryana, UP, Punjab and Rajasthan, along with Cabinet and other Ministers like Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar, Sanjeev Baliyan and others, according to a release by Darshan Pal of the SKM.

The statement said, “It is clear that instead of resolving the ongoing struggles demands, BJP is trying its best to counter and destroy it. SKM condemns this attitude of the ruling party and demands that the government resolve the farmers issues immediately without any further delay. SKM vows that it will intensify the struggle and mobilise more farmers in its support.”

The SKM also condemned an alleged attack by Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) “goons” on a peaceful protest organised by the All India Krishak Khet Majdoor Sangathan in Muzaffarpur on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Indian Railways has deployed 20 additional companies of the Railway Protection Special Force across the country with a focus on Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, in view of the protest.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait has expressed hope that the movement would extend to West Bengal in the coming days. He told IANS, “Is West Bengal an outside state? Then why can`t we go to West Bengal? The farmers there are not getting good rates for their crops.”

Tikait said that Bengal is near the sea and the farmers there involved in fish farming are a troubled lot, adding that imports are increasing while many fishermen have lost their lives in the state.

He said that they are planning to go to West Bengal not because it is a poll-bound state, but to spread awareness about the farmers` issue. A mahapanchayat will be held in West Bengal in the coming days, Tikait added.

Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the national capital since November last year, against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers` Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

(With Agency Inputs)

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