Farmers in Punjab on Thursday began a three-day ‘rail roko’ agitation to protest against the three farm bills which were passed by the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.
Railway authorities said 14 pairs of special trains will remain suspended from 24 to 26 September and officials told PTI that the decision was taken keeping in mind the safety of passengers and security of railway property.
The call for the ‘rail roko’ agitation was given by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and later, different farmers’ outfits also extended their support.
Committee president Satnam Singh Pannu said that they have requested to delegates of political parties, ministers, MPs and MLAs not to take part in the farmers’ unrest.
Farmers in Punjab are up for rail roko protests:
The representatives of the committee, according to PTI, said they were getting support from several sections including government employees and labourers.
Punjab: Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee continues their 'rail roko' agitation in Amritsar, in protest against the #FarmBills.— ANI (@ANI) September 24, 2020
The Committee is holding the 'rail roko' agitation from September 24 to 26 against the Bills. https://t.co/NRnPVVw5tq pic.twitter.com/6Czv07eU9Z
Farmers and opposition parties have been protesting against the bills — The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 — since they were introduced in the Lok Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha passed the bills on Sunday amid protests by Opposition members who demanded that the bills be sent to a select committee.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday to submit a memorandum opposing the farm bills and urged him to not give his assent.
Azad said he requested the President to restore the bills, and only give his consent after they have been passed after following proper rules and procedures.
The government, according to PTI, has claimed that these bills are to ensure that farmers get better prices for their produce without being subject to the regulations of man.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the MSP mechanism for farmers will continue. The proposed legislation would not trespass upon the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts of the states and will increase engagement and encourage private venture which will help in the advancement of farm infrastructure and create employment.
The proposed legislation will open more choices for farmers, reduce marketing costs, and help them get better prices, he said.