Responding to the call by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) for a six-hour nationwide ‘rail roko’ protest, all railway tracks in Punjab and Haryana were blocked on Monday by farmers, affecting rail services. The farmers are protesting in support of their demand to remove Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Mishra from the Cabinet, following the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which his son Ashish Mishra is the main accused. Train services were affected in both states due to the protest. However, there was no report of any untoward incident from anywhere.
The farmers’ unions have also been demanding scrapping of the three Central farm laws. The SKM had announced a six-hour nationwide ‘rail roko’ protest from 10 am to 4 pm. Heavy police presence was seen at various places in Haryana and Punjab to maintain law and other, in view of the protest. While reviewing the situation with senior police officials, Haryana home minister Anil Vij said, “The situation is under control. We are on our toes and nobody will be allowed to create nuisance.”
Hundreds of people had a harrowing time as trains did not run due to the protest. Passengers were left stranded at railway stations in various towns and cities as trains were stranded. People were forced to travel in other public transport. “It is apparent that with Ajay Mishra being MoS for home in the Union government, justice cannot be secured in this matter,” SKM leaders said in a joint statement on Sunday evening.