On Thursday farmers gathered near the railway tracks in Punjab and Haryana and blocked trains as part of the “rail-roko” protest. The protest was started in an attempt to pressurize the government to repeal the new agricultural laws. As stated by a major report, it is found that across the country ahead of the protest, the railways deployed 20 additional companies of RPSF troops.
Effect of the Protest in the Different States
In Punjab, at many places on the Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar route protesters sat on tracks. In Jalandhar, farmers blocked the Jalandhar Cantt-Jammu railway track. Some protesters climbed at the top of the Gita Jayanti Express train in Kurukshetra that resulted in some delay. Due to the agitation, the Rewari-Sri Ganganagar special train in Rajasthan was canceled. Workers of various political parties took part in the rail-roko protest at the Pune railway station. The protesters blocked the Koyna Express. Stray incidents were reported across the state with little effect on the rail services in West Bengal. At Lasur station at least 12 people were detained. Some protesters were arrested in Raichur, Belagavi, and Davangere.
Women Protesters Refused to Back Down
Against the Centre’s three farm laws, farmers have been protesting at the border areas for more than two months and women have been central to sustaining the movement, both on-site and off-site. The protesting women at some places were seen dancing to the folk songs. To join their male counterparts, around 1000 women protesters reached the nearest railway track in Jind district. One elder woman protester said” We will take what is rightfully ours. These laws are evil; these should be repealed.” Asserting the BJP‘s prospects in the upcoming elections, she also added that “farmers” support had given Modi his throne and the farmers will remove him from power as well.”
Will the FIRs and Arrests demoralize the farmers?
SKM leader Jagjit Dallewal stated that it is quite natural that the families of those arrested fear further results. For this reason, the government is harassing farmers like this. The government is waiting for a chance to do something where they could pressurize farmers’ leaders and other activists to back off. Even on January 26, they got a chance to do it. Now the farmers are focused on getting all those people released who have been arrested by the Delhi police.
TPT Policy Advocacy & Recommendations
- The new farm laws will destroy the government procurement system and also the farmers’ lands will be taken over eventually. So, the Government must bring in some necessary acts to do justice to the farmers who are providing food to the entire nation.
- No one has the right to destroy one’s livelihood. The entire farm laws if started will leave the farmer women unemployed, and it will also pave the way for the dismantling of the MSP system.