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March 3, 2024

Farmers’ Nationwide ‘Rail Roko’ Protest Intensifies Amidst Ongoing Agitation

The nationwide farmers’ agitation, marked by the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march initiated on February 13, is set to escalate with a planned ‘Rail Roko’ protest on March 10, as announced by farm leaders Sarwan Singh Pandher and Jagjit Singh Dallewal. The protest, which had been halted briefly, will resume on March 6 with farmers marching towards Delhi in a “peaceful manner,” reiterating their demands for key agricultural reforms.

Addressing the gathering in Punjab’s Balloh village, Pandher and Dallewal emphasized the steadfastness of the protesting farmers in pursuing their demands until they are met by the Central government. The decision to intensify the agitation through a ‘Rail Roko’ protest aims to amplify their voices and draw attention to their plight. They urged farmers from distant states to converge in Delhi via trains and other means of transport, highlighting the inclusive nature of the protest.

Pandher emphasized the need for solidarity among Punjab’s panchayats, urging them to pass resolutions in support of the farmers’ demands. He condemned the government’s attempts to impede the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march and emphasized the widespread participation of over 200 farmer outfits across the country, refuting the notion that the agitation is confined to Punjab or led by a select few forums. The determination of the farmers to persist in their struggle despite challenges underscores their unwavering commitment to securing their rights.

The ongoing agitation, stationed at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana, has garnered nationwide attention, fueled by the farmers’ unwavering resolve and unified demands. At the heart of their grievances lies the demand for a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP), a provision they had insisted upon in 2021 when agreeing to suspend their protest against the now-repealed farm laws.

In addition to MSP assurance, the farmers are advocating for the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, provision of pensions for farmers and farm laborers, and the waiver of farm debts. These demands reflect the multifaceted challenges faced by the agricultural community and underscore the urgency for comprehensive reforms to address systemic inequities.

As the farmers gear up for the ‘Rail Roko’ protest and continue their agitation at the border points, their resilience and determination serve as a potent reminder of the enduring spirit of grassroots activism in India. The coming days are poised to witness heightened mobilization and solidarity as the farmers’ movement amplifies its demands and asserts its rightful place in shaping the future of Indian agriculture.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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