Farmers Decide to Intensify 'Rail Roko' Agitation, Demand Rollback of Farms Bills
Members of various farmers' organisations block a railway track during a protest against three farm bills, in Rupnagar district of Punjab, on September 25, 2020. (PTI Photo)
Farmers agitating over the three agricultural laws enacted by Parliament recently continued their 'rail roko' stir on Tuesday for the sixth day and decided to extend it for an indefinite period. The farmers under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee have been squatting on rail tracks at various places in the state since September 24.
They said they have decided to intensify their protest against the Centre and will continue to block rail tracks at Tanda, Mukerian, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ferozepur. The protesters are demanding the rollback of the three anti-farmer legislations.
The train service, meanwhile, continued to remain suspended in Punjab amid the farmers' stir. Under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, the farmers on Tuesday also unanimously resolved to boycott some private companies, alleging that the Centre's farm bills were intended to benefit some private players.
State general secretary of the committee, Sarwan Singh Pandher, dubbed the farm laws as anti-farmers and said the private firms will exploit farmers. Another farmer leader Sawinder Singh Chautala said the rail roko protest would be further intensified next month and urged people from all sections of the society to come forward and support the farmers' cause.
In Ferozepur district too, the protesting farmers vowed to boycott some private companies. They continued to block the railway track near Basti Tankan Wali for the sixth consecutive day. While addressing farmers, union leaders Satnam Singh Pannu, state president of the Sangharsh Committee, said the farmers have pledged to boycott each of the products that come from some of the corporate houses.
Pannu claimed that the central government wants to promote the interests of some corporate houses in the country. He said the farmers are already reeling under financial crunch and these new agricultural bills would further aggravate their misery.
Pannu said Punjab has always played a pivotal role as the food bowl of the nation. The farmers of the state will be the worst hit by these central laws, he claimed. He announced that the farmers would oppose the laws tooth and nail.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday assented to the three contentious bills — the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.