Over 850 trains in Punjab affected by Farmers’ Rail Roko
Farmers’ ‘Rail Roko’ agitation in Punjab has affected the movement of more than 850 trains in the last five days.
Describing the disruption in services as “worst ever” in the history of Railways in Punjab, officials said the movement of 884 trains was affected in Ferozepur and Ambala divisions of Railways.
“This is the worst ever farmers’ agitation which hit the train movement for five days in a row. I have never seen such an agitation which almost paralysed rail services,” Divisional Railway Manager, (Ferozepur Division), Anuj Prakash said.
In Ferozepur division, 336 trains have been affected while in Ambala division, services of 548 have been hit. Today, 73 trains were affected in Ferozepur division, officials said, of which 29, including mail/express trains, were cancelled because of the agitation, while 18 were diverted and 26 were short terminated or short originated.
“We will be getting cases registered against farmers wherever they have blocked tracks,” Prakash said. So far, Railways have got cases registered at Jalandhar, Nakodar and Ferozepur under various sections of Railways Act including disruption in rail traffic.
Prakash however refused to comment on state government’s alleged failure in preventing the rail blockade but appealed to farmers to call off their agitation in the interest of people.
Yesterday, eight farmers’ outfits, which are spearheading the agitation, rejected the appeal of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to call off their protest and extended their agitation till tomorrow. “Our protest will go on till October 12 and the next line of action will be decided after meeting the Punjab CM in Chandigarh,” BKU Etka (Dakunda) General Secretary, Jagmohan Singh said today.
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal yesterday invited protesting farmers to hold talks with the Chief Minister on October 12 for resolving their issues. Badal yesterday said his government was ready to accept every genuine demand of the farmers and would leave no stone unturned to bail the distressed agriculturists out of severe crisis.