Train operations affected by farmers' protest in Punjab

Amritsar, Dec 3 (PTI) The functioning of more than 25 trains under the Ferozepur division was adversely affected as several farmers' unions squatted on railway tracks in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Ferozepur districts on Tuesday making various demands including payment of outstanding dues of sugarcane.

The protest hit the operations of 10 to 15 express trains and a dozen passenger trains, affecting 25,000 passengers, said a statement by the Firozepur railway division.

Agitating farmers blocked the railway tracks at several places, affecting train movement at Amritsar-Beas section (Beas-Butari), Amritsar-Tarn Taran section (Tarn Taran-Bhagtanwala), Ferozepur-Fazilka section (Jhok-Guruharsahai) and Ferozepur-Jalandhar section (Makhu-Mallanwala Khas), officials said.

In Amritsar, farmers squatted on the railway track at Rayya town near Beas, around 40 kms from Amritsar city. They shouted slogans against the state government for not meeting their demands.

Harpreet Singh, a farmers' union leader, said farmers were not being paid arrears for sugarcane.   Farmers were also protesting the registration of cases for stubble burning and demanded withdrawal of the FIRs.

Singh said that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, in September, had assured them about fulfilling their demands which had not been done yet.

Farmers were also demanding complete waiver of farm loans and pension for growers above 60-years of age. PTI COR CHS VSD RDM RDM