Monday, December 6, 2021

Protesting farmers disrupt train services in India

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Protesting farmers on Monday squatted on railway tracks in several parts of India, disrupting train services.

Railway officials said that at least 27 trains were cancelled and another 60 were delayed.

Most of the services affected were in the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Farmers’ unions had called for the six-hour rail roko or train-halting programme in connection with an incident in Uttar Pradesh where a group of farmers, holding a protest rally on a highway, were mowed down by a car linked to Federal Minister, Ajay Mishra.

The Oct. 3, incident left eight people dead, the car killed four protesters and an angry mob beat up the three men in the car including the driver to death, while a journalist also died in the incident.

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Mishra’s son was arrested six days after the incident with farmers’ leaders claiming he was behind the attack.

The Mishras had denied this.

The farmers had called for the rail blockade to support their demand that Mishra steps down as minister for home affairs in the federal government as they feel a fair probe cannot be held while he is in office.

The Lakhimpur Khedi incident is one of the most serious incidents of violence since the farmers’ protests began in November 2020 over a set of contentious new farm laws.

Talks between the Narendra Modi government and farmers’ leaders led to a stalemate.

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