Farmers at the Jandiala Guru railway station in Punjab’s Amritsar on Tuesday continued with their rail blockade on Tuesday to protest the farm bills passed during the monsoon session of Parliament in September. They stopped the Golden Temple Mail, which operates from Mumbai Central to Amritsar, at the Beas railway station. The train was diverted from Beas and it arrived in Amritsar via Taran Taran.
“We are ready to give our life if the central government does not scrap these laws, which are against farmers,” Satnam Singh Pannu, the state president of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, told ANI.
Amritsar’s district collector Gurpreet Singh Khaira urged the farmers to halt their protests in order to allow passenger trains to operate but farmers did not relent to these requests. “It will be very helpful for the administration if you clear the blockade. We know your grievances. The people who are coming via trains are also the people of Punjab, you must think of them and should stop the blockade,” Khaira told farmers, according to ANI.
Farmers were adamant that they shall not allow passenger trains to operate until the farm bills were not withdrawn. They have blocked railway tracks in the state since September protesting the central government’s farm bill passage. They are protesting against the newly-passed laws under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee.
Farmers’ organisations, the Punjab government and the ministry of railways have had several discussions on this issue. The Indian Railways also said that it has more than Rs 2,000 crore due to the agitations. On Monday, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also expressed concern about the farmers’ refusal to allow passenger trains.
The Western Railway had restored 11 trains on Monday. These trains were either cancelled or short-terminated or short-originated, according to news agency ANI.
Several farmers’ organisations have opposed the passage of three agriculture laws — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.