Farmers protesting against the Narendra Modi government’s three contentious agri laws have called for a four-hour nationwide ‘rail roko’ protest between 12 PM and 4 PM on Thursday.
The ‘rail roko’ protest was announced by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of farmer unions spearheading the ongoing protests and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) last week.
The railway blockade will be third major protest by farmers, following the Republic Day tractor rally and the ‘chakka jam’ on February 6.
“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,” Kisan Andolan Committee spokesperson Jagtar Singh Bajwa said.
The Railways deployed 20 additional companies of RPSF troops across the country ahead of the protest, news agency PTI reported.
Railway blockade through pictures
Meanwhile, the ‘Delhi Chalo’ farmers’ protest at border points of New Delhi has entered the 85th day today. Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, are staging a sit-in protest along Delhi borders. The protest started on November 26, 2020. The farmers are demanding a complete rollback of the new farm reform laws and a guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system being retained. Multiple rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ union leaders have ended in a stalemate. Protesting farmers fear that the new laws will dismantle the MSP system and corporatise farming.