The Rail Roko protests today by the farmer unions against the three farm laws passed off without any untoward incident. Although the four-hour train blockade caused stopping of some trains in some places in the country, overall, there was negligible or minimal impact of the blockade on the running of the trains.
Out of total 18 Railway zones in the country, 8 of them didn’t report a single case of stoppage of trains, and these zones remained free of the protests. The eight zones untouched by the Rail Roko protest were North Central Railway, South Eastern Railway, Southern Railway, South East Central Railway, Northeast Frontier Railway, North Eastern Railway Central Railway and South Western Railway.
The ‘rail roko’ protest was announced by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of farmer unions leading the protests against the farm laws. Farmer union workers today gathered at railway stations in several places in the country and blocked train tracks as part of a four-hour protest from 12 pm to 4 pm. The Railways had deployed 20 additional companies of RPSF troops during the protest, especially in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Even in the Northern Zone, the impact of the Rail Roko was minimal, where around 25 trains were regulated. Protestors sat on tracks in many places in Punjab and Haryana, disrupting movement of trains. But as the protest was for four hours, trains are expected to run with some delays, instead of having to cancel them.
The railway blockade was the third major demonstration by farmers, following the Republic Day tractor rally which had turned violent, and the ‘chakka jam’ on February 6. The farmer leaders had announced that the ‘rail roko’ protest will be peaceful, adding that the agitating farmers will do what they can to avoid inconveniencing passengers.