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Farmers block tracks in Haryana

Women participate in large numbers in the ‘rail roko’ programme at two places

Agitating farmers supported by khaps laid blockade at 44 points across Haryana on Thursday as part of Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s “rail roko” programme, seeking the repeal of the three farm laws and legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price. The women also participated in the protest in large numbers at Rohtak and Charkhi Dadri.

Of the 16 police stations of the Government Railway Police, Hisar, Sirsa, Jind and Rohtak accounted for 24 points — which is more than half the total number of blockades. The railway tracks were blocked at nine points in Hisar, followed by seven in Sirsa, and four each in Rohtak and Jind. In Bahadurgarh, one of the sites of sit-in agitation for the past two months, the farmers blocked the railway traffic at five points.

Sangeeta Kalia, Superintendent of Police, Haryana Railway Police, said the protests went off peacefully.

Widespread support

Several khaps along with social, farmers, traders and employees organisations came out in support of the “rail roko” programme in Bhiwani to lay blockades at Bamla (Bhiwani-Rohtak), Sui (Hisar-Bhiwani), Siwani (Hisar-Rajgarh) and Loharu (Hisar-Jaipur). The women protesters turned up at large numbers to block the railway tracks on Rewari-Hisar route at Patuwas Mehrana railway station in Charkhi Dadri and Ismaila railway station in Rohtak. Leading the agitation at Patuwas, farmer leader Raju Maan said the farmers had participated actively in all the protests programmes, including tractor parade and highway blockade, and were ready to make any sacrifice in support of their demands. All-India Democratic Women Association vice-president Jagmati Sangwan addressed the women protesters at Ismaila.

All India Kisan Sabha state vice-president Inderjit Singh said the “rail roko” programme was not meant to cause public inconvenience but to sent across the message that the movement was not confined to Punjab and Haryana and had an all-India presence.

The call evoked lukewarm response in districts along the Delhi-Ambala Highway with two blockades reported under the Chandigarh railway police station and one each in the jurisdictions of Ambala Cantonment and Jagadhari railway police stations. The tracks were blocked at Kurukshetra railway station and at two different points in Kaithal. Similarly, two blockades were reported in Panipat and one in Sonipat.

Led by former Haryana MLA Karan Dalal, several hundred farmers under the aegis of 52 Paals (or khaps) blocked the Delhi-Mumbai route near Atoha village in Palwal.

In Gurugram, the protesters blocked tracks at Patli railway station.

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