A meeting between representatives of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee and the Punjab government failed to end the deadlock as the farmer body announced that it will not allow passenger trains to run on the Amritsar-Delhi rail track.
Railways had already announced to run the Golden Temple train between Amritsar and Mumbai. Rest of the farmer unions in Punjab had agreed to allow running of both goods and passenger trains in Punjab, while KMSC didn’t attend meeting and also decided to not allow passenger trains.
IG (Border Range) S P Parmar held a meeting with farmer body at circuit house Amritsar on Monday evening to convince its leaders to allow running of passenger trains. However, union leaders did not budge from their stand.
“All unions are independent to take any decision. We have decided to allow only goods trains. Punjab government is forcing us to allow passenger trains. Our last meeting with Punjab government on this issue failed to reach any conclusion. If Punjab government wants confrontation, then we too are ready for it. We will not allow passenger trains at any cost. We will not allow Punjab government to assist Centre in applying arm-twisting methods on farmers,” said Sawarn Pandher, the union’s general secretary.
He said, “The Jandiala Guru Rail Roko Andolan entered its 61st day today which will continue till the demands are met. As per the decision of the organisation, only freight vehicles will be given benefits.”
President of body, Satnam Singh Pannu, said, “One goods train has already run on this track on Monday and we didn’t object to it. But if a passenger train comes, we will sit on track again.”
He added, “The Center is responsible for the economic blockade of Punjab. Modi government at the Center is responsible for the problem that is being faced by the people of Punjab today. Governments are trying to tarnish the image of the movement. We have shifted dharna at some distance from railways tracks and station. So that railways can function. But dharna will continue to keep watch over movement of trains. We will not allow passenger trains.”
“Punjab government is playing into the hands of Union government. Both are acting as one government to pressurise farmers. It is surprising that on one side Capt Amarinder Singh is claiming that he is with farmers and on other, he is doing his best to be in good books of Modi government by running passenger trains at every cost. Passenger trains are not running in full strength and capacity since Covid-19 outbreak. So it is not going to affect railways if these remain suspended till next round of talks between farmers and Union government. But government has make it issue of ego to run passenger trains in Punjab,” said Pannu.
Meanwhile, the farmer union is also gearing up for protest announced at Delhi on November 27.
“For protest announced at Delhi, we are prepared to take along beds, clothes, langar, trolleys etc there. We will oppose the Centre’s decision to end the agitation in the name of Covid. The first large group of the organisation will leave Amritsar for Delhi on November 26,” said Pandher.
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