Chandigarh, Sep 26 (PTI) Farmers in Punjab continued their “rail roko” agitation at several places on Saturday in protest against the farm-related Bills passed by Parliament recently.
The movement of trains in the state remained suspended in the wake of the 'rail roko' agitation, which was extended by three days till September 29. Earlier, farmers had decided to block trains from September 24 to 26.
In Amritsar, farmers squatted on the Amritsar-Delhi rail track and went shirtless in protest against the Bills.
On Friday, a near total 'bandh' was observed in the state.
Apart from Punjab, protests were witnessed in neighbouring Haryana with farmers hitting the streets and blocking roads.
Demonstrations were also reported from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala and Karnataka as part of the “Bharat bandh” call given by several farmer unions.
In Punjab, the call for the “rail roko” agitation was given by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee after which 20 trains were partially cancelled and five short terminated till September 26 by the Railways.
Squatting on rails tracks, agitating farmers on Saturday shouted slogans against the BJP-led Union government and demanded the rollback of the farm Bills which they described as “black laws”.
In Amritsar, a group of protesting farmers went shirtless to express their anger against the farm Bills.
“Farmers have taken off their 'kurtas' and shirts to make the government hear our voice,” said Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher over the phone.
Farmers under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) blocked rail tracks in nine districts.
BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan said the rail tracks were blocked at Mansa, Barnala, Nabha (Patiala), Chhahjli (Sangrur), Rampura (Bathinda), Ajitwal (Moga), Kotkapura (Faridkot), Gidderbaha (Muktsar), Jalalabad (Fazilka).
He said elders, women, youth and children also participated in protests.
Farmers would force the government with a series of protests to withdraw the farm Bills, he said, adding that the legislations will only “benefit” big corporates.
Farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre's farm reforms would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporates.
Farmers said they will continue their fight till the three farm bills were withdrawn.
Parliament had recently passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill; Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; and Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill.
These are yet to get the assent of the President. PTI CHS VSD RAX RDK RDK RDK