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Kurmis withdraw proposed rail blockade, trains to run normally, ET Infra

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<p>Representational Image</p>
Representational Image

RANCHI: Trains under the SER and ECoR jurisdictions will run on their scheduled routes in parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha as an indefinite rail blockade called by Kurmi organisations from Wednesday has been withdrawn, officials said. As a precautionary measure, at least 11 trains were cancelled and 12 others diverted on Tuesday under the jurisdiction of South Eastern Railway (SER) and East Coast Railway (ECoR) in Jharkhand and Odisha respectively in view of the rail blockade, they said.

The ECoR said it has decided to run trains on normal routes with immediate effect as per schedule as the Kurmi Samaj agitation has been called off.

“All the trains that were earlier cancelled or diverted are being restored on their normal routes as per the directive of the headquarters,” Ranchi railway division chief public relation officer Nishant Kumar told PTI.

“The indefinite rail blockade called by Kurmis has been withdrawn as our senior leaders are being harassed by police. We will take a collective decision on the next course of action on September 30 in Purulia,” said Ajit Mahato, a leader of Adivasi Kurmi Samaj in West Bengal.

Sheetal Ohdar, the president of Totemik Kurmi Vikas Morcha (TKVM), a leading Kurmi body in Jharkhand, however, claimed that they would continue their agitation from Wednesday.

Several Kurmi bodies had called for the indefinite railway blockade at nine stations in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha from September 20 to press for their demand of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the community and inclusion of Kurmali language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.

Ohdar had, earlier, said that several organisations, including Adivasi Kurmi Samaj of West Bengal and Kurmi Sena of Odisha, would participate in the stir.

The indefinite blockade on railway tracks was supposed to take place at Muri, Gomoh, Nimdih, Ghagra stations in Jharkhand, Khemasuli and Kustaur in West Bengal, and Harichandanpur, Jaraikela and Dhanpur in Odisha from September 20.

Ohdar urged the MPs from the community to raise the demand during the ongoing special session of Parliament.

Adivasi Kurmi Samaj central spokesperson Harmohan Mahto claimed that Kurmis were listed among aboriginal tribes in 1913 during British rule.

“When the Centre notified ST list on September 6, 1950, Kurmis were put in the list of Other Backward Castes (OBC) in West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha,” he claimed.

“Kurmis have been tribal since ancient times,” Mahto said, claiming that their population in the three states is estimated to be more than two crores.

Earlier in the day, the SER cancelled nine express trains and diverted eight others in the Ranchi railway division, the senior official said.

The trains that were supposed to depart from their respective stations on Tuesday and enter Ranchi rail division the next day have either been cancelled or diverted as a precautionary measure.

The ECoR, on the other hand, cancelled two trains and diverted four others.

The Kurmi bodies had staged a five-day blockade on railway tracks from September 20 last year to press for their demand, disrupting train services.

  • Published On Sep 20, 2023 at 12:09 PM IST

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