Farmers on Thursday gathered near railway tracks at many places in Punjab and Haryana for the 'rail roko' protest against the Centre's new farm laws, with officials stopping trains at stations as a precautionary measure.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers' unions, which is spearheading the protest, last week had announced the nationwide rail blockade to press for its demand to repeal the legislations and had said that the agitation will be from 12pm to 4pm.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) members would block railway tracks at 22 places, including at Nabha, Mansa, Barnala, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Jalandhar and Tarn Taran, in Punjab, the organisation's general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said.
Security has been tightened in both Haryana and Punjab with personnel of the government railway police and the state police force being deployed, officials said.
The Ferozepur division of the Northern Railways has decided to halt trains at stations, so that passengers faced less inconvenience during the 'rail roko' protest.
The officials said that the movement of trains is likely to be delayed because of the farmers' rail blockade. Train services will be resumed after following due security protocols once the agitation is over, they said.
In Haryana, besides railway police personnel, the Haryana Police has deployed its staff in large numbers near the protest sites and at various railway stations.
Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Division, G.M. Singh said that no train had been cancelled in view of the 'rail roko' agitation.
In Bhiwani district of Haryana, tracks would be blocked at four places, including at Siwani and Loharu, a farmer leader from the district said.
In Ambala, farmers gathered near railway tracks at Shahpur village, about 2km from the Ambala Cantt railway station.
Four trains were scheduled to pass through Ambala between 12pm and 4pm, Railway officials said.
Bhartiya Kisan Union leader from Ambala Gulab Singh Manakpur said the protest would be peaceful.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, entry and exit at four metro stations, including at Tikri Border, one of the epicentres of the farmers' agitation, were shut on Thursday by DMRC authorities in view of the security situation.
The Tikri Border metro station is near the farmers' protest site.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation tweeted on Thursday to inform about the closure of entry and exit at these four stations. "Security Update Entry/exit for Tikri Border, Pandit Shree Ram Sharma, Bahadurgarh City, and Brig. Hoshiar Singh have been closed," it tweeted.