Bathinda (Punjab) [India], September 28 (ANI): As the three-day-long rail blockade protest began on Thursday, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Krantikari chairman Surjeet Singh said that the protesting farmers also want the Centre to double the number of work days, guaranteed by the government under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005.
"Along with farmers, labourers have also suffered losses. We demand from the government that the minimum 100 days of guaranteed work under the MGNREGA scheme be increased to 200 days," Surjeet Singh, BKU Krantikari chairman said, while sitting on a rail blockade protest here in Bathinda.
Several farmer bodies led by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee are on a three-day 'rail blockade', which began today, with several demands including a financial package for losses caused by recent floods, a legal guarantee to minimum support price (MSP) and debt waiver.
While speaking to ANI, Singh said, "This is a three-day protest. It is backed by 18 farmers' union. We are demanding a compensation for losses caused by recent floods."The agitating farmers are also demanding action against Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni's son Ashish Mishra, the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident of 2021, which killed four farmers.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the people of Punjab that he has sympathy with the farmers. If he had the sympathy then the kin of farmers, who laid their lives, during the year-long famers protest on Delhi borders, would have recieved compensation and the Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni would have been sacked," he added.
Meanwhile, as many as 18 trains of the Firozpur division, have been affected as members of various farmers' bodies squatted on train tracks in Ferozepur.
A railway official of the Firozpur (FZR) division said that the services of as many as 18 trains have been hit till now on the first day of the rail blockade agitation. "Of those, 12 trains, which set off from and arrive here have been cancelled and the remaining, long route trains, have been diverted," he said.
Earlier in the day, Sarwan Singh Pandher of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, who was present at the Amritsar protest said, "If anyone tries to be unfair with the farmers of Punjab, then farmers from Haryana will also join Punjab farmers. Farmers are united throughout the country."Pandher further said that at "Devi Dasspura thousands of farmers have gathered in their tractors and bikes to hold an agitation demanding compensation over losses considering the floods in north India which have affected the crops.""The agitation has been called by 18 unions in North India. Home Minister Amit Shah came to Amritsar and he promised to bring MSP guarantee law but the committee has not been formed yet. The cases that had been registered during the Delhi agitation have not been withdrawn," Pandher said.
"The farmers who lost their lives, and their families have not got the compensation and jobs which was assured. The victims have not got justice in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. We have demanded 50,000 crore as compensation for the floods. The drugs that are being supplied through drones are not being checked at theborders. The protest is against the central government," he added.
Police official Balvir S Ghuman said that massive security has been deployed to deal with the situation. (ANI)