Even as farmers and farm workers are back from Delhi after a year of successful agitation against the Centre’s controversial agricultural laws, the Sanjha Morcha, a collective of farm workers, launched a rail roko at nine different locations in Punjab to demand the waiver of loans from microfinance companies and restoration of broken electrical connections due to non-payment of bills.
Participating in the unrest, which crippled the state’s rail network, the workers also demanded the allocation of plots of five marlas to needy Mazdoor families in the villages, the exemption of unpaid electricity bills and control of fictitious auctions of panchayati land intended for agriculture.
The roko rail is from noon to 4 p.m. on outstanding khet mazdoors requests, said Zora Singh Nasrali, chairman of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union (PKMU). BKU Ugrahan – the largest farmers’ union in Punjab – also supported the unrest. âLots of workers and farmers came back last night and now they’re back on track. I too arrived last night, âsaid Shingara Singh Maan, senior vice president of BKU Ugrahan.
The unrest is taking place in places such as Amritsar, Mansa, two sites in Bathinda and Faridkot, completely disrupting the Malwa Punjab rail network, while the commotion in Amritsar Urban has hampered services on the Delhi route.
“Sanjha Morcha had a meeting with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on November 23. He had not given much assurance on our demands, we still waited a few days and now we are doing a roko rail”, a said Lachman Singh Sewewala, Secretary General. from PKMU, arrived last night from the Tikri border.
âA third of the land is reserved for Dalits, but fictitious candidates are presented by the owners, thus depriving Dalit families of their rights to cultivate this land,â said Tarsem Peter, a union leader. “We had mentioned the case of a fictitious auction in Gurdaspur, but the chief minister did not cancel the auction,” he added.