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Friday, October 23, 2020

Punjab: From today, ‘rail roko’ at 24 new spots, dharnas outside houses of 7 BJP leaders

While farmer organisations Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) and BKU(Ugrahan) had started a ‘rail roko’ at six places from September 24, it now continues only at two places – Ferozepur and Amritsar by KMSC.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | October 1, 2020 3:24:31 am
farmers protests, farm bill protests, modi govti farm bills, punjab rail roko, punjab farmers protests losses, haryana farmers protestFarmers have blocked rail tracks at 33 different places in Punjab due to which passenger as well as goods trains cannot enter Punjab. (PTI Photo)

The combined struggle by 31 farmer outfits in Punjab against Centre’s agri Acts will enter phase 2 from Thursday, October 1, with rolling out of their detailed plan to intensify the stir. As part of the agitation, ‘rail roko’ will be organised at 24 new places in the state from Thursday, apart from two places where it is already underway.

In addition to this, daily protests will be organised outside the houses of 7 BJP leaders, including former BJP president Shwait Malik in Amritsar, Union Minister of State Som Parkash in Phagwara, party MLA Arun Narang’s Abohar residence, BJP Kisan Morcha’s Punjab unit head Bikramjeet Singh Cheema residence in Ludhiana’s Payal village, BJP leader Satwant Singh Punia’s house in Sangrur and former BJP MLA Sukhpal Singh Nannu’s residence in Ferozepur. Protests are also planned outside the house of Sunita Garg, state general secretary of party’s Mahila wing who is based in Kotkapura.

Farmer outfits have also planned gherao of Reliance stores, malls and other corporate buildings at 29 places, with this number is likely to increase in the coming days.

While farmer organisations Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) and BKU(Ugrahan) had started a ‘rail roko’ at six places from September 24, it now continues only at two places – Ferozepur and Amritsar by KMSC. Now from October 1 onwards, as per combined program of 31 unions, ‘rail roko’ will begin at 24 more places in Punjab out of which nearly a dozen will be in Malwa, nearly 8 places in Majha and the rest in Doaba.

Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan), said, “In Malwa, our union alone will be doing ‘rail roko’ at Dhablan village in Patiala, Sunam in Sangrur, Budhlada in Mansa and Gidderbaha in Muktsar district. We will be organising pakka dharna ouside the houses of four BJP leaders — Satwant Punia in Sangrur Sunita Garg in Kotkapura, Bikramjeet Singh Cheema in Payal village of Ludhiana and MLA Arun Narang’s house in Abohar. Also our union members will be organising pakka morcha outside 29 places which includes 5 toll plazas — one each at Sangrur and Gurdaspur, two toll plazas in Bathinda and one in Barnala.

Apart from the best price store of Reliance in Bhucho Mandi area of Bathinda, protests will be held at three shopping malls of Reliance in Amritsar and Bathinda, silo of Adani logistics in Chhajali (Sangrur) and Dagru (Moga), 15 Reliance petrol pumps, 3 Essar petrol pumps in Malwa and private thermal plant at Bannawali village of Mansa district. We will not lift dharnas from any of these places for even a minute. Our workers will be sleeping outside the houses of BJP leaders, corporate houses and even at the rail tracks. We will question BJP leaders on what is so special about these farm laws.”

Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary, BKU (Dakaunda), and member of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) said, “Dharna outside the houses of BJP leaders Som Parkash, Shwait Malik and Sukhpal Singh Nannu will be for 3-4 hours daily. While BKU (Ugrahan) has decided on the dharnas outside corporate entities, other unions are finalising the list of their protest sites. ‘Rail roko’ will be indefinite at 24 new places,” he said.

Kisan organisations have been protesting since June, when the ordinances were tabled in Cabinet. “When we started protesting, they were farm ordinances. When we intensified it in September, ordinances turned to bills and now they have turned to laws. However, we are still unmoved and we hope that ‘achhe din’ of farmers will come for sure and we will have a say,” said farmer Rajinder Singh, vice president of Kirti Kisan Union.

Satnam Singh Pannu of the KMSC said, “Our ‘rail roko’ as of now is till October 2 at Ferozepur and Amritsar… However, we support the new ‘rail roko’ dharnas at 24 more places which will start from October 1 onwards.”

Sukhdev Singh Kakori Kalan said,” PM Modi’s government wants to give control to corporates for the majority of projects in India. Now they are all set to eat up our agriculture as well. So, we have resentment against corporates.”

Meanwhile, the 31 farmers unions have formed a 7-member panel to coordinate with a committee of artistes in Punjab over a campaign against the Centre.

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