The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has denied sending emails to the Sikh community on behalf of the centre amid ongoing farmers' protests.
The IRCTC has rejected all reports suggesting it had sent emails, highlighting the relationship between Sikhs and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to people with surname 'Singh' and those who hailed from Punjab. It said that the emails were sent to all and that such activities are not unprecedented.
"It may be informed to all that the comments of IRCTC have not been quoted correctly and the emails have been sent to all irrespective any particular community...This is not the first instance. Earlier also such activities have been undertaken by IRCTC to promote government welfare schemes in the public interest," a statement by the IRCTC read.
According to reports, IRCTC sent emails with a 47-page attachment titled 'PM Modi and his government's special relationship with Sikhs'. The email listed 13 decisions taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support the Sikh community.
The reports, quoting IRCTC chief public relations officer, mentioned that the organisation sent emails to those who had registered their email id on its website.
The document is reportedly in Hindi, Punjabi and English and starts with a citation from the Qaumi Seva Award presented to PM Modi. It also highlighted the measures taken by the centre meant for the "welfare of the Sikh community, including Sri Kartarpur Corridor and Jalianwala Bagh Memorial."
IRCTC sent out 1.9 crore emails in five days till October 12, NDTV reported.
Farmers from six states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala and Punjab are protesting in and around the national capital against the centre's 'historic reforms'.
Three bills - Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services ill, 2020 - were passed in September.
The centre claims that the new farm laws will improve farmers' income by allowing them to sell produce anywhere in the country. The contentious bills which farmers say are "anti-farmer", aim to provide a barrier-free trade for farmers' produce outside notified farm mandis and to empower farmers into farming agreements with private players prior to production for sale of agri-produce.
However, the farmers claim that the laws could lead to the government stopping the system of buying grain at minimum support price (MSP) and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.
From barbed wires, water cannons to barricades and extreme cold, agitated farmers have braved all hindrances and are still demanding the withdrawal of the contentious laws.