SKM’s rail roko protest demands justice for Lakhimpur Kheri farmers

Despite police deployment, many districts in states like Punjab and Haryana sat on rail tracks in assertion of farmers' demands

Rail RokoImage

Northern railways reported cancellation of many trains owing to the rail roko protest of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on October 18, 2021 demanding the arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra and others for causing Lakhimpur Kheri killings.

For over two weeks, farmers across India demonstrated against the death of four farmers and a local journalist Raman Kashyap in Uttar Pradesh after being allegedly mowed down and shot at by Mishra’s son Ashish. While the main accused was arrested after he failed to provide satisfactory answers during police questioning, others accused in the incident are yet to be apprehended.

SKM called for a rail roko campaign from 10 AM to 4 PM. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana answered this call soundly by observing a sit-in protest in districts like Punjab’s Amritsar, Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Moga, Patiala, and Haryana’s Sonipat, Kurukshetra, Jind, Karnal and Hisar. Police officials were also posted near railway stations.

According to the Indian Express, over 130 locations suffered after nearly 50 train schedules were affected due to the protest across northern India. The Shatabdi Express and the Vande Bharat Express were among some of the trains affected.


Similarly, farmers received a fairly strong response from Rajasthan. However, a large number of police personnel were stationed at Uttar Pradesh railway stations in Kanpur and nearby areas. Some districts like Fatehpur, Etawah reported farmers sloganeering. In such areas, farmer leaders were detained. Even in Madhya Pradesh, police arrested protesters in Guna, Gwalior, Rewa, Bamaniya regions.

Farmer Protest

Meanwhile, Visakhapatnam farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Vijayapura farmers in Karnataka showed their solidarity by observing similar protests. Demonstrators in Kacheguda, Hyderabad city of Telangana were arrested.

“The SKM repeats its strong demand that Mishra be arrested and sacked from the Union Cabinet of Ministers for the Lakhimpur Kheri farmers massacre. The Modi government has to take moral responsibility in addition to doing this as a simple principle of natural justice, to ensure that the investigation is not impacted, the real culprits and masterminds of Lakhimpur Kheri Massacre are arrested,” said a joint statement warning further intensified struggles if the demands are not met.

Earlier, farmers sent out yatras across India to pay homage to Lakhimpur Kheri martyrs. One such group reached Chennai on the same day as the rail roko event where the state SKM unit received the ashes of the deceased farmers.


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