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TN farmers book ticket to Kashi to fight Modi

THANJAVUR: About 120 farmers owing allegiance to the national south Indian rivers linking farmers association, who planned to travel to Varanasi in the Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express, detained the train at Thanjavur junction for two hours alleging their tickets were cancelled in the last minute.

The train from Kanniyakumari to Varanasi, on Friday arrived at Thanjavur junction at 6.45 am against the scheduled time of 4.10 am. When the train started after three minutes of halt, the farmers who boarded the train from Tiruchy stopped it by pulling the emergency chain. They staged a protest alleging their confirmed tickets were cancelled and demanded berth allotment.

Association president P Ayyakannu, who led the protest, said as many as 111 farmers of the body who were travelling in the train had decided to contest from Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he failed to resolve the Cauvery water sharing conflict, the linking of Godavari and Cauvery rivers, and providing legislative backing to minimum support price.

Of the total 120 tickets they hence booked in the train on Friday, Ayyakannu said 39 had Reservation against Cancellation (RAC) status, which means passengers will be allotted a seat to sit until a berth fell vacant. The remaining tickets were wait-listed.

Railway officials and the police held talks with the protesting farmers and assured them they would be allotted seats at Villupuram Junction. Following this, the farmers withdrew their agitation and the train left Thanjavur at 8.27 am, sources said.

The farmers, however, were not provided seats even at Villupuram Junction. Following this the entire group disembarked at Chengalpattu and staged a protest, sources added

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