Protesting farmers up the ante with ‘rail roko’ call; ‘minimal impact,’ says Railways

Responding to a call for nationwide ‘rail roko’ (rail blockade) by the farmer unions protesting Centre’s three contentious farm laws, protesters in various parts of the country sat on railway tracks, resulting in some delays.

During the protest, announced by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of farmer unions spearheading the agitations last week, trains were stopped at places, some were cancelled or rerouted. However, a spokesperson for the national transporter said there was negligible or minimal impact on railway services due to the ‘rail roko’ agitation. He said majority of the zonal railways reported no incident due to the protest.

This was the third major demonstration by farmers, following the Republic Day tractor rally and the ‘chakka jam’ on February 6.

Ahead of the protest, which was scheduled between 12 noon and 4 pm, the railways stepped up the security at the stations deploying 20 additional companies of RPSF troops across the country, especially in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

25 trains regulated in northern railway zone

Around 25 trains were regulated in the northern zone, a zonal railway spokesperson said, adding that there was, however, minimum effect of the agitation on the railways. Regulating trains means they have been either cancelled, short terminated or rerouted.

Farmers sat on railway tracks at many places in Punjab and Haryana as part of the ‘rail roko’ protest, with officials…

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