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'Agitation May Give Opportunities to Non-farming Entities': Rly Alerts Zone Offices as Farmers Protest

Farmers block a railway track during a protest against the new farm law, at Jandiala Guru in Amritsar, Wednesday, November 4, 2020. (Image: PTI)

Farmers block a railway track during a protest against the new farm law, at Jandiala Guru in Amritsar, Wednesday, November 4, 2020. (Image: PTI)

Addressing reporters at the Singhu border, the farmer unions also reiterated that they will intensify their agitation and start blocking all highways leading to the national capital.

After farmers’ leaders threatened to intensify the protests with blocking railway tracks if their demands are not met by the government, the Railway Ministry in a confidential letter to different zones cautioned them to protect railway property amid the agitation. Farmer unions, which held a meeting on Thursday, said they will soon announce a date for blocking tracks across the country.

“Protesting farmer unions are united and emboldened by the claimed success of their “Bharat Bandh”, political support from different political parties, non-farming organisations, Left pressure groups and others. However, they had been making conscious efforts to keep their agitations peaceful,” the confidential letter reads, according to a report in the Indian Express.

Addressing reporters at the Singhu border where they have been protesting for almost two weeks to demand a rollback of the laws, the farmer unions also reiterated that they will intensify their agitation and start blocking all highways leading to the national capital. "We will block railway tracks if our demands are not met. We will decide on the date and announce it soon. The blocking of tracks will not be limited to Haryana and Punjab but it will be done across the country," farmer leader Boota Singh said at the press conference.

“Protesting farmers’ unions were resolute to intensify their stir if their core demands were not considered through resumption of talks; a prolonged agitation may give opportunities to other non-farming entities to get associated with protest,” the letter written to Railway zone offices warned.

The letter, reportedly sent by the Director General of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) reads that the protesting farmers are receiving solidarity from across the society and will intensify in the coming days with attempts to resort to road and rail blockades.

The railways was also informed about the call to intensify their agitation by blocking railway tracks nationwide, a call given by the leaders of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha.

The letter reportedly suggests the zone offices to take proper contingency measures and advanced planning to ensure that there is no disruption in transport services. It asks them to take help of all available agencies and state intelligence services and local police to protect railway property.