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28 Oct 2020, 21:02 HRS IST
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  • PTI
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  • 'Rail roko' agitation starts in Punjab, train services suspended

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17:25 HRS IST

Chandigarh/New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) Farmers in Punjab began their three-day "rail roko" protest against farm Bills on Thursday as the Railways suspended several trains to avoid any untoward incident

Railway authorities said 14 pairs of special trains will remain suspended from September 24 till 26. The decision has been taken keeping in mind the safety of passengers and protection of railway property from any damage, officials said

Among the trains that will remain suspended are the Golden Temple Mail (Amritsar-Mumbai Central), Jan Shatabdi Express (Haridwar-Amritsar), New Delhi-Jammu Tawi, Karambhoomi (Amritsar-New Jalpaiguri), Sachkhand Express (Nanded-Amritsar) and Shaheed Express (Amritsar-Jaynagar), officials said

Many freight and parcel trains have also been rescheduled

At present, routine passenger train service remains suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic

The call for 'rail roko' agitation was given by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and later different farmers' outfits extended their support to it

Activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) squatted on rail tracks in Barnala and Sangrur on Thursday morning

Farmers under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee have decided to squat on rail tracks near Devidaspur village in Amritsar and Basti Tanka wala in Ferozepur

Representatives of the committee said they were getting support from several sections, including government employees and labourers

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee president Satnam Singh Pannu said they have appealed to representatives of political parties, ministers, MPs and MLAs not to take part in the farmers' agitation

They vowed to gherao BJP leaders and socially boycott those who voted in favour of the farm Bills

As many as 31 farmers' outfits have given a call for a complete shutdown of Punjab on September 25

Farmers in Punjab have expressed apprehension that the Bills would pave a way for dismantling the minimum support price system, leaving them at the ?mercy? of big corporates

Parliament has 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

They await the President's nod to become laws

Meanwhile, railway officials said the Nanded-Amritsar train will end its journey in Old Delhi. Train number 02716 will run from Old Delhi instead of Amritsar on September 25 and 26

The Dhanbad-Ferozepur Cantt train will not go to Ferozepur Cantt and end its journey at Ambala Cantonment. Train number 03308 will run from Ambala Cantt from September 24 to 26 instead of Ferozepur Cantt

The Mumbai Central-Amritsar train arriving on September 24 will be brought to Ludhiana and it will end its journey at Ambala from September 25 to 26

Train number 02904 will run from Ambala from September 24 to 26 instead of Amritsar

A Railways spokesperson in New Delhi said the agitation will severely impact loading of foodgrain and other essential goods

Officials said the Food Corporation of India is daily loading over 35 rakes of foodgrain from Punjab

They said Punjab also loads 9-10 rakes daily of fertiliser, cement, auto, mixed goods in containers.

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