‘Rail Roko’: Women lead protests in Haryana, dance to folk songs on railway tracks

Women protesters in Haryana have been on the forefront of the countrywide ‘Rail Roko’ marketing campaign in opposition to the central farm legal guidelines on Thursday, as they dominated demonstrations throughout which motion on trains on a number of railway tracks throughout the state was halted. At some locations, the protesting ladies have been even seen dancing to folk songs whereas elders sat puffing on their hookahs on railway tracks.

In accordance to a senior police officer, protests have been held at 45 locations on railway tracks however they have been largely peaceable. He added that the Railways had tweaked the timings of trains retaining in thoughts the ‘Rail Roko’ name. At a number of protest factors, a sizeable massing of demonstrators, led by ladies, was seen.

At Barsola in Jind district, over 1,000 ladies protesters from neighbouring villages reached the closest railway observe to be part of their male counterparts who have been additionally out in equal numbers. They sat on the Jind-Delhi railway line, blocking motion of trains from 12 midday to 4 pm on Thursday.

Karni Devi, a 70-year-old protester from Barsola, presided over a gathering of demonstrators. The ladies had reached the protest venue in tractor-trolleys, elevating slogans in opposition to the federal government and for farmers’ unity.

“Women have been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with males through the ongoing farmer protest. We’ll hold collaborating in the agitation until all three farm legal guidelines are repealed. The Khap panchayats earlier used to hold ladies in the again row. Now, they need us to take the entrance seats. This motion may also assist ladies break away from sure customs resembling purdah (veil),” mentioned Sikkim Nain, president of the ladies’s wing of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) in Jind.

At Ismaila village in Rohtak district, ladies protesters have been noticed dancing on the Rohtak-Delhi railway line.

The farmers’ organisations deployed their volunteers to forestall any harm to public property through the “Rail Roko” agitation. For the reason that affray on Republic Day and the storming of the long-lasting Purple Fort complicated, a sense has grown amongst protesters that any violence may hurt their agitation. The volunteers on Thursday caught a drunken man at Barsola railway as he tried to throw a stone on a shifting practice shut to midday. Additionally, earlier than leaving for his or her houses on the finish of protest, a five-member delegation of farm leaders in the state met railway officers, informing them that every little thing was in order on the sit-in factors. Additionally they urged the officers to go to the spot to confirm their declare. In a video message to farmers forward of the ‘Rail Roko’ name, Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni had mentioned, “We have now to make it a peaceable occasion. Don’t indulge in vandalism wherever. We don’t have to resort to stone pelting even when the police, someplace, commit atrocities on us. We have now to tolerate police lathicharge and use of water cannons.”

The overwhelming response to the ‘Rail Roko’ name appears to have dulled the hopes of the ruling BJP-JJP coalition that the protests will fizzle out in a while. Even with the protests now spanning three months and counting, the help for the agitating farmers solely appears to be rising by the day and the motion spreading to new areas. The BJP’s heavy defeat in the civic polls in neighbouring Punjab, which is being seen as an expression of anger over the farm Payments, has emboldened and energised the Haryana protesters. At most protest websites in the state on Thursday, farmer leaders cited the BJP’s civic ballot rout in Punjab, urging the demonstrators to persevere.

With the agitation turning out to be a long-drawn affair, farmer leaders in the state have now determined to ship the protesting meals growers to sit-in websites on the borders of Delhi by rotation. Azad Palwa, a Khap chief from Jind, mentioned, “As many as 15 farmers from each village will go to toll plazas day by day and stage dharnas. Their flip will come once more after every week. Farmers going to protest factors on Delhi’s borders will keep there for every week earlier than one other group replaces them.”

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