Monday, July, 22,2024

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Rail Roko Andolan: Farmers in Amritsar squat on tracks over MSP demands

Amritsar: Farmers who have been protesting for almost one month now, squatted on railway tracks at many places in Punjab as part of a 'rail roko' protest called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha to press the Centre to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.
Because of the disruption of train services, passengers experienced inconvenience.
The protest was held from 12 noon till 4 pm.
Farmers blocked several railway tracks, including the Jalandhar Cantt railway tracks.
Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher, earlier in the day asked people to join the protest in large numbers.
"We urge all farmers, labourers and common people across the country to support us in the 'Rail Roko' today in large numbers. We also urge those, who are scheduled to travel on trains between 12 noon and 4 pm today, to push back their journey by a few hours today. Train passengers might face some inconvenience today. However, this is only a partial 'Rail Roko'," Pandher told ANI on Sunday.
The protesting farmers have put forward a raft of demands before the Centre, including a legal guarantee to MSP on their produce, withdrawal of police cases against them during earlier protests, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, debt waivers and no hike in electricity tariff.
During the last round of talks with the farmers' delegation, which ended past midnight on February 18, the panel of three Union ministers made an offer to buy five crops--moong dal, urad dal, tur dal, maize, and cotton--from farmers at MSP for five years through central agencies.
However, the protesting farmers turned down the offer and returned to their protest sites. 

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