Train services along the northeastern frontier railway was disrupted for nearly six hours due to the 12-hours rail blockade today at Kokrajhar rail station called by Adivashi National Convention Committee (ANCC), an umbrella organisation of Adivashis,on various demands of the communiy, including Scheduled Tribe status to the community, provide land pattas to the evicted Adivashis those are living in forest areas in the state of Assam.
Thousands of people with placards, banners and shouting slogans staged protest at Kokrajhar railway station starting 6 am this morning affecting the movement of trains along the route.The demands includes ST status for communities residing in Assam, to expedite the peace talk with the rebel groups in ceasefire, allotment of land & rehabilitation to the evicted Adivasi people, permanent allotment of land and land pattas to the tea garden workers in Assam. Railway passengers have to face several hours disrupted communication due to the blockade.
Several long distance express trains were stranded at various stations besides passenger trains cancelled have force to cancelled due to the blockade,which included Rajdhani express(down),Capital express,Sampark Kranti stranded at New Bongaigaon station,Brahmaputra mail express, Gaya express(up) halted at Alipurduar and New Coochbehar station respectively. Dhubri-Kamakhya passenger,NJP-Lamding intercity express, NJP-New Bongaigaon passenger,NJP-Kamakya intercity express trains were cancelled during the blockade. The blockade was lifted by 12.30 pm after 6.30 hours as government has promised to hold pecae talk over the demands of ANCC.The ANCC submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister of Assam through Kokrajhar deputy commissioner demanding early granting of ST status to Adivashis and solution of ceasefire militants’ organisations of Adivashis.
Birshing Munda,chairman of ANCC told that the blockade lifted for the day after 6.30 hours as government assure us to hold tripatite talk over the issues by March 22 next. He has warned that ANCC will resume its democratic mass agitation if their demands are not meet by March 22 next.
‘We lifted the blockade after getting assurance from government to hold talk over the demands of ANCC in coming days.We respect government’s assurance expecting fruitful results in days to coming’,said Munda.
Ambrit Beck,ANLA leader,Durga Hasda,ANCC leader slammed for not taking initiative to solve the problem and issues of Adivashis in the state.Beck said that mass agitation will be continued till achieve of ST status in the state.
Boyal Hembrom,president of Adivashi Seva Samiti,Prem Hasda,AASAA leader,Simon Kisku,president All Santhali Students Union(ASSU) demanded eraly granting of ST status to the Adivashis to meet healthy development and welfare of the community.They said that government should come forwared while bringing soultions of the demand and issues of the Adivashis.
Bibekananda Choudhury,Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner said that the blockade was lifted by 12.30 pm at railway station.He said that district administration observed agitation blockade as ANCC sitted along the rail track to put pressure their demands.