RANCHI: The four-hour Rail Roko Andolan, called by farmer unions to protest against the Centre’s three controversial farm laws, failed to make any impact in Jharkhand on Thursday. Organized under the banner of Jharkhand Rajya Kisan Samanway Samiti (JRKSS), the protest fizzled out due to low turnout and most of those gathered at various railway stations were leaders and workers of Left parties and their trade unions. There were hardly any farmers in the gatherings.
Barring minor delays, the movements of passenger and express trains across Ranchi, Chakradharpur and Adra divisions of the South Eastern Railways, Dhanbad division of East Central Railways and Asansol division of the Eastern Railways remained largely on schedule,.
The Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi special Express and the Patna-Ranchi Jan Shatabdi special Express trains were held up at Tatisilwai railway station as demonstrators jostled with RPF and local cops at Namkom railway station on the outskirts of Ranchi. The Asansol-bound passenger and Deoghar-bound Baidyanath Dham express departed from Ranchi stations a touch after their scheduled time.
The Jabalpur-Howrah Shaktipunj express took a prolonged halt at Daltonganj railway station and New Delhi- Howrah Poorva Express stood at Hirodih station near Koderma for 10 minutes as demonstrators remained on the railway tracks in Gomia, Daltonganj and Hirodih stations for about 40 minutes.
Chakradhapur division largely remained free of demonstrators. “A handful of demonstrators, their numbers not exceeding 30, assembled briefly at Jharsugda, Rourkela and Bimlagarh stations in Odisha,” a senior official said.
JRKSS however termed the program a success. “Blockades were set up in Namkom and Nagri in Ranchi, Lohardaga, Jamshedpur, Baharagora, Chakulia, Gumani, Dumka, Latehar, Ramakunda, Nimdih, Dhanbad, Sindri, Kumardhubi, Koderma, Giridih, Hazaribag and Ramgarh railway stations,” JRKSS said in a statement.
Unlike the Chakka Jam earlier this month, none of the political parties in the ruling coalition took part in Thursday’s protest. JRKSS convener Sufal Mahto claimed: “The programme ended peacefully in Jharkhand and it was a success. Such demonstrations will continue till the farm laws are repealed by the Narendra Modi government.”