Kurmi’s railway blockade stir for ST status begins in Jharkhand amid heavy security
In Ranchi’s Muri, around 500 agitators were stopped by security forces at a certain distance from the station, officials said
Trains under the jurisdiction of SER and ECoR will ply 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West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha as an indefinite rail blockade called by Kurmi organisations from Wednesday has been withdrawn, officials said.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 South Eastern Railway had in a release issued on Tuesday said that “normal train services will be restored with immediate effect in view of the withdrawal of proposed agitation by the Kurmi community”.
The EcoR, too, had said it has decided to run trains on normal routes with immediate effect, as the Kurmi Samaj agitation "has been called off".
However, members of the Totemik Kurmi Vikas Morcha (TKVM), reportedly sat on the tracks at Ghagra station in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district on Wednesday morning 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, the officials said..
In Ranchi’s Muri, around 500 agitators were stopped by security forces at a certain distance from the station, officials said.
“Adequate forces have been deployed at Muri to prevent the agitators from disrupting train movement,” Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Ranchi Railway Division Nishant Kumar told PTI
The district administration has also imposed prohibitory measures under CrPC Section 144 in Silli Circle near the Muri Railway Station from 6 pm on Tuesday till further orders, an official said. Section 144 prevents unlawful assembly of four or more persons and public movement in groups.
A report from Odisha said Kurmi Samaj activists briefly blocked tracks at Bhanjapur Railway Station in Baripada town of Mayurbhanj district on Wednesday, but the rail lines were cleared and train services resumed soon.
Ajit Mahato, a leader of Adivasi Kurmi Samaj in West Bengal, had Tuesday said that the indefinite rail blockade called by Kurmis was withdrawn “as our senior leaders are being harassed by police.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”.
Several Kurmi bodies had earlier announced the stir at nine stations in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha from Wednesday, including Muri, Gomoh, Nimdih, Khemasuli, Kustaur and Harichandanpur.
Published: 20 Sep 2023, 3:13 PM