Over 500 farmer activists detained to thwart rail roko agitation in Punjab

 Over 500 people were detained in the wee hours of Wednesday here to thwart plans by farmers and some organisations representing them from blocking rail traffic.

“We have made preventive arrests of 65 activists by putting up nakas on various points on roads leading to Rajpura railway junction,” said a senior police officer.

Access to Rajpura railway station was restricted for passengers only, he added.
Scores of activists were detained in other parts of the state.

Activists of farmer unions had threatened to halt trains at Rajpura junction, Beas and other areas in Punjab on Wednesday for two hours.

Seventeen farmer unions, including Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta (Dakaunda), Jamhoori Kissan Sabha, Kissan Sangharsh Committee, Kirti Kissan Union, Punjab Kissan Union and Bhartiya Kissan Union Ekta (Ugrahan) decided to hold protests on rail tracks in the state.

The unions are demanding increase in minimum support price of wheat at par with the Swaminathan committee report, and subsidies for diesel and farm products.

Sources in the BKUE (Dakaunda) said police have not yet confirmed the whereabouts of detained leaders Jagmohan Singh (general secretary), Darshan Pal, Satwant Singh and others.

BKUE (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahon and general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokari, in a statement, condemned the crackdown on farmers’ leaders in parts of Punjab, including Moga and Tarn Taran.

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