Farmers in Punjab squatted on rail tracks on Monday morning as part of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s six-hour ‘rail roko‘ protest demanding the dismissal and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra in connection with the violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri. A railway official said four sections of the Ferozepur division were blocked by the protesters. The Ferozepur-Fazilka section in Ferozepur city and the Ferozepur-Ludhiana section at Ajitwal in Moga were affected, the official said.
Demanding the arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher on Monday demanded said the KMSC will hold protests at 20 places in 11 districts of the state.
In a statement, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions spearheading the agitation against the Centre’s three agri laws, had said “protests will be intensified until justice is secured” in the Lakhimpur Kheri case.
During the ‘rail roko’ protest, all train traffic will be stopped from 10 am till 4 pm on Monday, the SKM had said.
“To press for its demand for MoS Home Ajay Mishra’s dismissal and arrest, so that justice can be secured in the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre, Samyukt Kisan Morcha has announced a nation-wide Rail Roko programme.
“SKM put out a call to its constituents to stop rail traffic for six hours on October 18 between 10 am and 4 pm. The SKM asks for this action to be taken up peacefully, without any destruction and damage of any kind to any railway property,” it had said.
Four of the eight people who died in the violence on October 3 were farmers, allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers. Angry farmers then allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles.
The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver.
Farmers have claimed that Ashish Mishra was in one of the vehicles, an allegation denied by him and Ajay Mishra who say they can produce evidence to prove he was at an event at that time.
Ashish Mishra was arrested in the case on October 9.