NDTV News

New Delhi: Protesting farmers gathered near rail tracks in parts of Punjab and Haryana today for the ”rail roko” protest against the Centre’s new farm laws. Train services have been stopped at many places as part of precautionary measure. Security has been tightened in Punjab and Haryana, with the deployment of the government railway police and the state police.The Samyukta Kisan Morcha – an aggregate of farmer unions — had announced the nationwide rail blockade last week to press for its demand to repeal the three farm laws.Over the last weeks, the farmers protesting at the Delhi borders have been heading out to the states, saying it was part of their new strategy to take the protest across the country.The plan to beef up the protest came as the deadlock persisted after several rounds of talks with the government, with neither side ready to back down.The farmers have refused to accept the government’s offer of a 18-month freeze on the three laws while negotiations continue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the proposal stands.The farmers contend that the farm laws will shrink their income by doing away with the minimum prices fixed by the government and leave them at the mercy of corporates. The government says the laws are major reforms in the farm sector that will help farmers dispense with middlemen and allow them to sell produce anywhere in the country.