‘Rail roko’ protest : Railways tightens security, deploys 20 additional cos

In the wake of the farm unions’ four-hour ‘rail roko’ demonstration on Thursday, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has stepped up security measures and deployed 20 additional companies across Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab and Haryana to prevent any untoward incident.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of 40 farm unions, has called for the rail blockade from 12 pm to 4 pm.

Speaking to IANS, RPF Director General Arun Kumar said, “We have made additional deployment across the country and also coordinated with the state agencies and state police.”

He said, “They (state police) are also deployed and the CRPF has been deployed at several places.”

When asked, if there has been additional measures in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, as the farmers have been camping at several borders of the national capital since November 26 last year, he said, “Nothing specific for Delhi. In northern railways, which covers areas like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, additional measures have been taken up.”

He said that the RPF has deployed 20 additional companies across Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and poll bound West Bengal.

“Railways has appealed for peace. We will have additional security focus across Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Twenty additional companies of RPF have been deployed,” Kumar said.

Besides the RPF, the Railway ministry has put the Government Railway Police (GRP) on high alert. Even senior officials conducted checking at railway stations and have identified vulnerable spots.

During the last week Budget Session, the Railway ministry informed that the national transporter had suffered a loss of Rs 1,462.45 crore in Financial Year 2020-21 due to various agitations or strikes including dharnas at platforms and near tracks.

Meanwhile, in Gurugram , the RPF, GRP and the district police have also beefed up the security deployment in view of the ‘rail roko’ protest.

The Gurugram police along with the RPF and the GRP have been carrying out security checks at Patli railway station where the SKM had announced to hold peaceful protest against the farm laws.

So far, the movement of the trains were not disrupted and are running as per the scheduled time.

“As per the scheduled programme, we will be holding the demonstration from 12 pm to 4 pm. We will ensure that no harms is caused to any railway property and no passenger face any inconvenience. We will not stop any train. The farmers’ demostration will continue till the government withdraws all the three ‘black’ laws,” SKM Gurugram president, Chaudhary Santokh Singh said.

Meanwhile, the police officers said they are keeping hawk-eye vigil on the anti-social elements.

“Special duties have been assigned to stop protesters from occupying railway tracks. Adequate number of force have been deployed at all the railway station in Gurugram region. We will not allow anyone to disrupt movement of trains. Legal action will be initiated against those who to create any disturbance,” said a senior police officer on requesting anonymity.