Farmers gear up for ‘Rail Roko’ on Feb 18, railways deploys additional RPSF companies
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday announced that the farmer groups protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws will be holding a ‘rail roko’ (railway blockade) across the country on Thursday. The protest will be staged from 12 pm to 4 pm.
A release issued by Northern Railway said that due to the farmers’ agitation in Punjab, the Darbhanga-Amritsar Express special train, which was to start on Wednesday, will remain cancelled.
The Mumbai Central-Amritsar, Bandra Terminus-Amritsar, Jaynagar-Amritsar Express Special trains on February 17 will be diverted to run via Beas-Tarn Taran-Amritsar. The New Jalpaiguri-Amritsar and Amritsar-Haridwar Express Special will be also diverted to run via Beas-Tarn Taran-Amritsar on February 17.
In the wake of ‘rail roko’, the railways has deployed 20 additional companies of the RPSF across the country, with focus on Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, in the wake of the ‘rail roko’.
“We will gather intelligence. States such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, and some other areas will be our focus. We have deployed 20 companies (around 20,000 personnel) of the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) in these areas,” Director General, Railway Protection Force, Arun Kumar said.
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said the people from their villages will also take part in the protest, adding that arrangements have been made for the children travelling by the trains, reported IANS.
The ‘rail roko’ has been announced by the Samkyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of 40 farmers’ unions to press for its demand to repeal the legislations.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at the three Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur since November 26 against new farm laws. Several rounds of talks have been held with farmers over their demand for the repeal of three new laws.