Farm unions call 6-hour 'rail roko' protest on Monday

Farm unions call 6-hour 'rail roko' protest on Monday
Source: IANS

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has announced a six-hour nationwide 'rail roko' protest on Monday, demanding immediate arrest of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Misra Teni over the Lakhimpur violence case.

Train services are likely to be affected due to the bandh call.

The SKM, an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions, said it has made it clear that, "until justice is not done in the Lakhimpur Kheri case, the agitation will not only continue but will intensify further".

"There will be a 6-hour rail roko protest on Monday, under which rail services will be disrupted across India from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rail roko will be completely peaceful and there will be no damage to railway property," it said in a statement.

The SKM has also appealed to all its constituents to strictly follow the guidelines.

Rajveer Singh Jadoun, Uttar Pradesh President of the Bhartiya Kisan Union, told IANS: "We have drawn up the outline of the Rail Roko agitation. Necessary guidelines have been issued to the farmer leaders of all the districts."

"At the district level, our farmers will go to railway stations and disrupt rail services," he added.

Nine people, including four farmers, had died in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. Farmers were allegedly mowed down by a vehicle linked to the minister. The incident sparked a deadly violence in which angry farmers allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles.

Farmers have claimed that Ashish Misra, son of the Union Minister, was in one of the vehicles which mowed down farmers. However, Ashish Misra has denied the allegation. He was taken into custody on October 9.

According to SKM, with Ajay Misra continuing to be the Minister, justice cannot be ensured in this case.

Meanwhile, the railways are gearing up to tackle situation in the wake of the Rail Roko call given by the farmers. High level railway officials have discussed the matter with the security forces regarding the safety of passengers. However, so far no train has been cancelled by the railways.