Farmers' rail roko agitation: 25 trains regulated in northern railway zone

By PTI
NEW DELHI: Around 25 trains have been regulated in the northern zone due to the ‘rail roko’ call by farmers protesting the three agri laws on Thursday, a zonal railway spokesperson said.

He, however, said there has been minimum effect of the agitation on the railways till now.

“Around 25 trains have been regulated so far. There has been minimum effect on rail services due to the agitation,” Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar said.

Regulating trains means they have been either cancelled, short terminated or rerouted.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions which is spearheading the protest, last week had announced the rail blockade to press for its demand to repeal the legislations.

The SKM had said the blockade will be held across the country from 12 pm to 4 pm.

The railways has deployed 20 additional companies of the RPSF across the country, especially in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

While the complete details of the effects of ‘rail roko’ call has not yet been provided by the railways, an official, on condition of anonymity, said its effects could be seen in Ambala where a huge group had congregated.

In stations near Delhi too, protestors have stated to gather on the tracks.

Protesters have also gathered near the Gazipur border at Modinagar railway station, the official said.

Some effects of the ‘rail roko’ call was also felt at Kurukshetra in Haryana where farmers climbed on the locomotive of Gita Jayanti Express train, which was stationary at that time, resulting in delays.

Farmers also blocked train tracks at Charkhi Dadri railway station in Haryana and served ‘jalebis’, tea and snacks to other protestors, police as well as railway officials.

In Punjab, protesters sat on tracks at many places on the Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar railway route, officials said.

Farmers also blocked the Jalandhar Cantt-Jammu railway track in Jalandhar and also blocked a rail track in Mohali district, they said.

Security has been tightened in both Haryana and Punjab, with personnel of the government railway police and the state police force being deployed there, officials said.

The Ferozepur division of the Northern Railways has decided to halt trains at stations so that passengers face less inconvenience during the ‘rail roko’ protest.

Officials said the movement of trains is likely to be delayed because of the farmers’ rail blockade.

Train services will be resumed after following due security protocols once the agitation is over, they said.