15 Feb 2024

Farmer Protest Disrupts Rail Traffic in Punjab; Siddaramaiah urges MP CM Mohan Yadav to release detained farmers

Union Ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal, and Nityanand Rai are scheduled to meet farmer representatives in Chandigarh on February 15 in response to the ongoing "Delhi Chalo" agitation by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, 

A virtual meeting between farmers and central government representatives took place on February 14, addressing the protest initiated to pressurize the BJP-led Center for various demands, including a minimum support price (MSP) law for crops and loan waivers. The Center clarified its inability to announce a guaranteed MSP.

Simultaneously, certain trains on the Delhi-Amritsar route were diverted due to farmers blocking tracks in Punjab in response to Haryana Police's actions against "Delhi Chalo" protesters. Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) and BKU Dakunda (Dhaner) had called for a four-hour 'rail roko' protest at multiple locations in Punjab.

As farmers occupied railway tracks on the main Delhi-Amritsar route, the railway authorities redirected train routes via Chandigarh (towards Delhi) and Lohian Khas (towards Amritsar and Jalandhar). Shatabdi and Shan-e-Punjab Express trains from Delhi arer likely to be terminated at Ludhiana railway station.

Siddaramaiah Appeals to MP CM for Release of Detained Farmers

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urged Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav to release farmers from Karnataka who were detained in Bhopal while en route to the national capital for the protest. Siddaramaiah expressed concern in a letter, stating that the farmers had been held without any reason for four days and are reportedly being shifted to Varanasi.

The letter emphasized the constitutional right of people to travel to Delhi for peaceful protests, labeling the farmers' arrest and mistreatment by Madhya Pradesh police as highly unfortunate.

Mamata Criticizes BJP's Handling of Farmers' Protest

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticized the BJP, asserting that the party is running a "government of Ravan" at the Centre, surpassing limits of civility amid the ongoing farmers' protest. Mamata Banerjee postponed her planned visit to Punjab to express solidarity with the protesting farmers, condemning the BJP for its perceived indifference to the situation.

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