Farmers union hold ‘Rail Roko’ protest in several parts of Punjab, several trains delayed – India TV

Rail roko protest staged by farmers in Amritsar
Image Source : PTI Rail roko protest staged by farmers in Amritsar

Amritsar: Farmers group is currently holding a protest which they dubbed ‘rail roko’ today (March 10) from 12 pm to 14 pm with an aim to press for their demands. Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal on Saturday urged the Centre not to run away from its responsibility of giving legal guarantees for MSP on all crops.  

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have called for a ‘rail roko’ protest on Sunday in support of their various demands.  Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher on Sunday said the farmers’ unions will stage ‘Rail Roko’ protest across the country on Sunday. The call for a ‘rail roko’ protest, which will be held between 12 noon and 4 pm, comes amid the farmer’s ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.

Union seeks MSP 

Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) leader Dallewal rejected the Centre’s plan to undertake guaranteed procurement of pulses (tur, urad and masoor), maize and cotton at a Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Speaking to reporters, Dallewal asserted that farmers must be given MSP on all crops for their survival under the “C2 plus 50 per cent” formula recommended by the Swaminathan Commission. He also rejected claims that MSP on all crops would involve a huge outlay.

Dallewal said the government is importing palm oil worth Rs 1.38 lakh crore but it cannot spend on farmers by giving them MSP on all crops. “The government should not run away from its responsibility. To save the country’s farmers, a law on MSP should be enacted,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kisan Mazdoor Morcha leader Sarwan Singh Pandher told reporters that the protesting farmers squat on railway tracks at several places in Punjab, including Ferozepur, Amritsar, Rupnagar, and Gurdaspur districts.

The Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda-Dhaner) and the Krantikari Kisan Union — farmers’ bodies that are part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha — also participated in the ‘rail roko’ agitation.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha is not part of the “Delhi Chalo” call but has extended its support to the protesting farmers camping at the Shambhu and the Khanauri border points.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are spearheading the “Delhi Chalo” march to press the government to accept the farmers’ demands, including a legal guarantee for MSP on all crops. The protesting farmers have been camping at the Shambhu and the Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana after their march to Delhi was stopped by security forces. The march began on February 13.

Earlier, farmer leaders had rejected the BJP-led Centre’s proposal for procuring pulses, maize and cotton at MSP by government agencies for five years, saying it was not in favour of the farmers.

During the fourth round of talks with farmer leaders on February 18, a panel of three Union ministers had proposed that government agencies would buy pulses, maize and cotton at MSP for five years after entering into an agreement with the farmers.

The demands include pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act – 2013, and compensation to families of farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: Punjab and Haryana HC raps protesting farmers over ‘women, children being paraded in front’ during agitation

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