Kurmis agitation for planned Tribe Day affects rail services in Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha – The New Indian Express

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Through PTI

KOLKATA/BARIPADA/RANCHI: Kurmis on Tuesday blocked railway tracks in various parts of eastern India, demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status and the inclusion of the Kurmali language in the eighth schedule of the constitution, affecting train services in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Rioters occupied train tracks at various points, leading to cancellations, short-term disruptions and the rerouting of several trains.

South Eastern Railway train services have been partially affected by blockades at Kustaur and Nimdih stations in Adra division, Khemasuli and Bhanjpur stations in Kharagpur division and Aunlajori station in Chakradharpur division since 4am, a railway official said.

The SER canceled 18 trains, diverted 13 and briefly terminated or briefly started 11 other trains, he said.

Among the canceled trains are 12814/12813 Tatanagar-Howrah-Tatanagar Steel Express, 12021/12022 Howrah-Barbil-Howrah Janshatabdi Express, 22861 Howrah-Titlagarh-Kantabhanji Ispat Express, 13512/13511 Asansol-Tatanagar-Asansol Express, 18183 Tatanagar – Danapur Express and 18033/18034 Howrah-Ghatsila-Howrah Express, he said.

Due to the excitement, SER has diverted 13288 Rajendranagar-Durg Express, 18011 Howrah-Chakradharpur Express, 12262 Howrah-Mumbai CSMT Duronto Express, 12130 Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express, 22905 Porbandar-Shalimar Express, 12801 Puri-New Delhi Express. 12809 Mumbai CSMT – Howrah Mail.

The rerouted trains include 15930 New Tinsukia-Tambaram Express, 18029 Mumbai LTT-Shalimar Express, 12833 Ahmedabad-Howrah Express, 12859 Mumbai CSMT-Howrah Express and 22823 Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Express, the SER official added.

Agitators also blocked a national road in Purulia, a government official said.

In neighboring Odisha, hundreds of men, women and children belonging to the community held Rail Roko actions in Mayurbhanj district.

Rioters blocked railway tracks at Bhanjpur railway station in Baripada city, Anlajodi railway station in Rairangpur and Betnoti.

As a result of the commotion, Bangriposi-Bhubaneswar Superfast Express and Baripada-Shalimar Similipal Express remained stopped in Bhanjpur for three hours while DEMU Tatanagar-Badampahar and DEMU Bangriposi-Rupsa remained stopped at Anlajodi and Betnoti stations respectively.

However, agitation in Odisha was halted after the local administration assured protesters that their complaints would be referred to the authorities at the highest level.

Mamata Mahanta, MP from BJD Rajya Sabha, who reached an agitation site, said: “I fully support the demand. Prime Minister Naveen Patnaik has honored Kurmis by appointing a woman from the community to Parliament. My participation in the excitement is not political but supportive of my community.”

Major Mahanta, one of the agitators, claimed that before 1950 the Kurmis were a Tribal Group at Risk (PVTG), then known as the Primitive Tribal Group (PTG), but had been removed from the ST list.

Basant Mahanta, an attorney, claimed that the state government did not recommend adding the Kurmi community to the ST list, despite the CM’s assurance.

Around 25 lakh Kurmis live in Odisha, mainly in Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Balasore, Jajpur and Sambalpur districts.

Kurmi community agitators block railway tracks to enforce their demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status in Mayurbhanj district on September 20, 2022. (Photo | PTI)

The excitement comes barely two days after Patnaik wrote a letter to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda asking for the addition of 160 communities to the ST list.

Patnaik claimed in the letter that since 1978 the Odisha government had recommended adding 160 of the state’s municipalities to the ST list, but the recommendations had not been accepted.

The prime minister said these communities were “victims of historical injustice” because they were delayed in listing on the ST.

In Jharkhand, railway blockades in West Bengal affected traffic along the Howrah-Mumbai route, officials said.

Passengers at Tatanagar railway station in the city of Jamshedpur were seen demanding a refund from the railways, while others complained that the commotion was affecting their flights from Kolkata to various destinations.

However, road traffic in Jharkhand was not greatly affected by the excitement.

KOLKATA/BARIPADA/RANCHI: Kurmis on Tuesday blocked railway tracks in various parts of eastern India, demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status and the inclusion of the Kurmali language in the eighth schedule of the constitution, affecting train services in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. Rioters occupied train tracks at various points, leading to cancellations, short-term disruptions and the rerouting of several trains. South Eastern Railway train services have been partially affected by blockades at Kustaur and Nimdih stations in Adra division, Khemasuli and Bhanjpur stations in Kharagpur division and Aunlajori station in Chakradharpur division since 4am, a railway official said. The SER canceled 18 trains, diverted 13 and briefly terminated or briefly started 11 other trains, he said. Among the canceled trains are 12814/12813 Tatanagar-Howrah-Tatanagar Steel Express, 12021/12022 Howrah-Barbil-Howrah Janshatabdi Express, 22861 Howrah-Titlagarh-Kantabhanji Ispat Express, 13512/13511 Asansol-Tatanagar-Asansol Express, 18183 Tatanagar – Danapur Express and 18033/18034 Howrah-Ghatsila-Howrah Express, he said. Due to the excitement, SER has diverted 13288 Rajendranagar-Durg Express, 18011 Howrah-Chakradharpur Express, 12262 Howrah-Mumbai CSMT Duronto Express, 12130 Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express, 22905 Porbandar-Shalimar Express, 12801 Puri-New Delhi Express. 12809 Mumbai CSMT – Howrah Mail. The rerouted trains include 15930 New Tinsukia-Tambaram Express, 18029 Mumbai LTT-Shalimar Express, 12833 Ahmedabad-Howrah Express, 12859 Mumbai CSMT-Howrah Express and 22823 Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Express, the SER official added. Agitators also blocked a national road in Purulia, a government official said. In neighboring Odisha, hundreds of men, women and children belonging to the community held Rail Roko actions in Mayurbhanj district. Rioters blocked railway tracks at Bhanjpur railway station in Baripada city, Anlajodi railway station in Rairangpur and Betnoti. As a result of the commotion, Bangriposi-Bhubaneswar Superfast Express and Baripada-Shalimar Similipal Express remained stopped in Bhanjpur for three hours while DEMU Tatanagar-Badampahar and DEMU Bangriposi-Rupsa remained stopped at Anlajodi and Betnoti stations respectively. However, agitation in Odisha was halted after the local administration assured protesters that their complaints would be referred to the authorities at the highest level. Mamata Mahanta, MP from BJD Rajya Sabha, who reached an agitation site, said: “I fully support the demand. Prime Minister Naveen Patnaik has honored Kurmis by appointing a woman from the community to Parliament. My participation in the excitement is not political but supportive of my community.” Major Mahanta, one of the agitators, claimed that before 1950 the Kurmis were a Tribal Group at Risk (PVTG), then known as the Primitive Tribal Group (PTG), but has been removed from the ST list.Basant Mahanta, a lawyer, claimed that the state government did not recommend the inclusion of the Kurmi community in the ST list, despite the assurance from the CM.Around 25 lakh Kurmis live in Odisha, mainly in Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Balasore, Jajpur and Sambalpur districts.Agitators of Kurmi community push their demand for Planned Tribe (ST) status in Mayurbhanj district on September 20, 2022. (Photo | PTI) The excitement hardly comes two days after Patnaik wrote a letter to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda seeking to add 160 communities to the ST list Patnaik claimed in the letter that i Since 1978, the Odisha government had recommended adding 160 of the state’s municipalities to the ST list, but the recommendations were not accepted. The prime minister said these communities were “victims of historical injustice” because they were delayed in being included on the ST list. In Jharkhand, railway blockades in West Bengal affected traffic along the Howrah-Mumbai route, officials said. Passengers at Tatanagar railway station in the city of Jamshedpur were seen demanding a refund from the railways, while others complained that the commotion was affecting their flights from Kolkata to various destinations. However, road traffic in Jharkhand was not greatly affected by the excitement.

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