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Bharat Bandh: Train services in Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur halted as people sit on tracks

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Railway operations in Delhi and the nearby areas were affected on Monday as hundreds of protestors gathered on tracks in support of the 10-hour-long Bharat Bandh called by farmers’ organisation Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).

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“Train operations are affected in Delhi, Ambala and Firozpur divisions as people are sitting on railway tracks. More than 20 locations are being blocked in the Delhi division. About 25 trains affected in Ambala and Firozpur divisions,” said the northern railway. 

About 25 trains have been affected due to the Bharat Bandh, it said.

Officials said the Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab, New Delhi-Moga Express, Old Delhi-Payhajot Express, Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Katra, and Amritsar Shatabdi are some of the trains that have been affected.

The agitating farmers were also seen sitting on the railway tracks at the Devidaspura village in Amritsar, in support of the Bharat Bandh.

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On the Tikri border, farmers sat on the railway tracks at Bahadurgarh railway station.

Agitation at Jantar Mantar

A section of the trade unions and civil society groups held a protest at Jantar Mantar in solidarity with the Bharat Bandh. 

The SKM, an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions spearheading the agitation against the three contentious laws, had appealed to people on Thursday to join the bandh.

Holding banners that read “Long Live Farmers Unity”, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws and equal opportunities for all, the protesters held a march at Jantar Mantar.

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Organisations including the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the All India Kisan Sabha, the Janwadi Mahila Samiti and the United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) participated in the protest and also raised their voice against issues apart from those related to farmers.

Bharat Bandh

To mark a year of the Centre’s three farm laws, farmers early on Monday began a “Bharat Bandh”, following a nationwide call by farmer unions demanding to scrap the legislation.

The bandh has garnered support from 15 trade unions, political parties, six state governments and varied sections of society. State governments of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have extended their support to the Bharat Bandh protest.

Farmers have been protesting at different sites since 26 November last year against the three enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Farmer leaders and the Centre have held several rounds of talks but the impasse remains.

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