Day 3 of protests: Farmers set to disrupt train services today, engage in third round of discussions with the Central government.

The ongoing Delhi Chalo protest by farmers has entered its third day, with a stand-off persisting at the borders of Haryana and Punjab. In support of the protesting farmer unions at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders in Punjab, several major farmers’ unions have announced a ‘rail roko’ (train stoppage) in the state on Thursday, February 15, from 12 pm to 4 pm. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and BKU Dakaunda (Dhaner faction) are leading this action, with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, representing 37 farm unions, also backing the protests.

The demands primarily include the implementation of a minimum support price (MSP) for crops. These unions, which played significant roles in the protests on Delhi’s outskirts in 2021, have joined the current agitation condemning the use of violence against farmers. BKU (Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan has denounced police actions and declared solidarity with the protesters by organizing rail blockades in Punjab.

The protest sites for the rail roko have been finalized, with nearly 10 locations confirmed, including Rajpura, Sunam, Jethuke village in Bathinda, Moga, Mansa, Malaut, Valla railway crossing in Amritsar, Barnala, Sangrur, and Budhlada. These blockades will disrupt railway lines such as the Amritsar-Jalandhar-Delhi line, the Mansa-Bathinda-Delhi line, and the Ludhiana-Ferozepur line.

In Chandigarh, three Union ministers are scheduled to meet farmers’ leaders for the third round of talks amid the stand-off. The earlier discussions before the march began were inconclusive. The meeting with union ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal, and Nityanand Rai is aimed at addressing the concerns raised by the farmers.

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda have reportedly discussed strategies to address the farmers’ issues. The clashes between protesters and security personnel at the Punjab-Haryana border have intensified, with reports of tear gas and stone-pelting incidents. The situation remains tense, with both sides maintaining their positions.

At the Shambhu border near Ambala, security forces have resorted to intermittent shelling against the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protesters, while a similar stand-off continues at the Data Singhwala-Khanauri border in Haryana’s Jind district. Despite the volatility, the protesters remain determined to continue their march towards Delhi, facing obstacles including concrete blocks and heavy security deployments at various border points. Commuters also faced disruptions at the Singhu border due to road closures and heightened security measures.

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