Badal to hold talks with farmers
Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal will hold talks with protesting farmers to break the deadlock over their demands as rais services remained suspended for sixth days. Shiromany Akali Dal invited representatives of eight organizations spearheading the ‘Rail Roko’ agigation.
Protesting farmers, who have described their agitation as “do-or-die battle” for them, have rejected the appeal of Badal to call off the protest till their meeting is held with the CM.Farmers have decided to announce their next line of action after holding talks with Badal.
“We will see what happens in the meeting with the Punjab CM before taking any call on our Rail Roko agitation,” Buta Singh Burjwala, President, BKU (Dakunda) said.
Farmers have been squatting on railway tracks at Mansa, Rampura, Shergarh, Pathrala (Bathinda), Dagru (Moga), and Mucchal (Amritsar), badly disrupting rail services at tracks including Ludhiana-Ferozepur, Ludhiana-Amritsar, Bathinda-Ambala, Ambala-Ferozepur.The ongoing farmers’ agitation has so far hit 469 trains in Ferozepur division in the six-day long protest.
Among 469 trains, 243 trains (109 mail/express and 134 passengers) have been cancelled while rest of them were diverted, short terminated and short originated, railway authorities said today. Movement of as many as 84 trains was adversely impacted today, railway officials said adding that among them, 50 have been cancelled.
Total eight farmers’ organizations, including BKU Ekta (Dakunda), BKU Ekta (Ugrahan), BKU (Krantikari), Kirti Kisan Union, are participating in the ‘Rail Roko’ agitation which began on October 7. They have been demanding Rs 40,000 per acre compensation for farmers whose crop got damaged by the whitefly attack, Rs 20,000 per family compensation for farm labourers, Rs 4,500 per quintal rate for Basmati PUSA 1509 variety, Rs 5,000 per quintal for Basmati PUSA 1121, and debt waiver.