LUCKNOW/CHANDIGARH: Farmers in Punjab and Haryana squatted on rail tracks on Monday as part of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s six-hour ‘rail roko’. Rail services were thus paralysed. However, the nationwide Rail Roko protest over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence evoked a mixed response across Uttar Pradesh.
The New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express stopped near Shambu station as protesters blocked railway tracks near Sahnewal and Rajpura. Also other trains were stopped on their tracks. A statement issued by the Northern Railway CPRO said: “So far, 150 locations in the northern Railway zone have been affected and operations of 60 trains hindered. About 25 passenger and short distance trains have been cancelled.’’
The rail traffic on Bhiwani-Rewari, Sirsa-Rewari, Loharu-Hisar, Suratgarh-Bathinda, Sirsa-Bathinda, Hanumangarh-Bathinda, Rohtak-Bhiwani, Rewari-Sadulpur, Hisar-Bathinda, Hanumangarh-Sadulpur and Sri Ganganagar-Rewari sections was affected. Also eighteen trains, including the Firozpur-Hanumangarh Special train, Ludhiana-Hisar Special train, were cancelled. Some 10 trains partially cancelled due to the stir are Ahmedabad-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Special, the railway spokesperson said, adding the train which departed from Ahmedabad on Saturday would run via Rewari-Delhi-Pathankot to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra.
Meanwhile, the response was lukewarm in eastern and central UP. However, its impact was conspicuous in western UP where farmers squatted on the tracks at various places. The protesters demanded the removal of Union minister of state for home Ajay Kumar Mishra ‘Teni’, whose son has been arrested in the Lakhimpur Kheri case. ADG, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, said 160 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and another nine companies of paramilitary forces were deployed.
North Railway Zone’s 150 locations affected
The ‘rail roko’ protest affected 150 locations in the Northern Railway zone due to which movement of 60 trains including Chandigarh-Ferozepur Express, New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express Jalandhar Express. According to the CPRO, Northern Railway, 25 short-distance such as Firozpur-Hanumangarh Special train, Ludhiana-Hisar Special train, Bathinda-Sriganganagar Special train, Bathinda-Lalgarh Special train, were cancelled due to the agitation.