Punjab farmers block trains, demand higher compensation for crop damage

Farmer groups in Punjab are protesting against the state government's "anti-farmer" policies and blocked rail traffic at several places, said reports on Wednesday.

Updated: Oct 07, 2015, 10:56 AM IST

Chandigarh: Farmer groups in Punjab are protesting against the state government's "anti-farmer" policies and blocked rail traffic at several places, said reports on Wednesday.

They have plans to continue the ''rail roko'' agitation tomorrow as well.

According to reports, four trains have already been cancelled and 12 have been diverted ahead of the planned blockade.

"We will go ahead with our plan to block rail traffic on October 7 and 8 at different places in Punjab to press the Centre and state government to accept our demands," Sukhdev Singh Kokri, General Secretary of BKU (Ugrahan), one of eight farmers' organisations participating in the agitation, had said on Tuesday.

Farmers have been demanding a compensation of Rs. 40,000 per acre for those whose crop was damaged by white-fly attack, Rs. 20,000 per family farm labour, Rs. 4,500 per quintal rate for basmati PUSA 1509 variety, and Rs. 5,000 per quintal for basmati PUSA 1121 variety.

They are also demanding higher compensation for cotton growers and remunerative rates for basmati crop.

Besides, farmers are also seeking payment payments of dues by private sugarcane mills, debt relief and Rs. five lakh financial assistance to the family of farmers who committed suicide.

Acknowledging that their agitation would cause inconvenience to people, the farmers' groups sought the support of the passengers.

Rail services at about 12 places including Rampura in Bathinda, Mansa, Sunam in Sangrur, Moga, Beas, Phillaur in Jalandhar, Fazilka, Ferozepur and Patiala, have been disrupted.

Police personnel have been deployed at different places to prevent protesters from disrupting rail services in the state, said Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Rohit Chaudhary.

With PTI inputs