Train services on the South Eastern Railways were affected as the Adivasi Kurmi Samaj continued their protest blocking railway tracks. Their protest demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status and inclusion of the Kurmali language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution started on Tuesday.
On Wednesday too several trains were cancelled. Some of the trains which were cancelled included 03595/03596 Bokaro Steel City – Asansol – Bokaro Steel City MEMU Passenger Special, 18116/18115 Chakradharpur- Gomoh- Chakradharpur MEMU Express, 18183/18184 Tatanagar- Danapur- Tatanagar Express, 08174 Tatanagar- Asansol MEMU Passenger Special, 13301/13302 Dhanbad – Tatanagar- Dhanbad Express, 08697 Jhargram- Purulia MEMU Special, 18019 Jhargram- Dhanbad MEMU Express, 12021 Howrah – Barbil Janshatabdi Express, 12871 Howrah – Titlagarh Express, 08162/ 08160 Chakradharpur- Tatanagar- Kharagpur Passenger Special, 18116 Chakradharpur – Gomoh Express,08060 Tatanagar- Kharagpur Passenger Special, 08049 Kharagpur- Jhargram MEMU Special, 08015 Kharagpur- Jhargram MEMU Special, 08055 Kharagpur- Tatanagar MEMU Special, 18019 Jhargram – Dhanbad Express, 08641/08642 Adra – Barkakana- Adra MEMU Passenger, 03598/03597 Asansol – Ranchi – Asansol MEMU Passenger Special.
People were seen assembling at the Kustaur train station on the South Eastern Railway’s Purulia-Adra railway line as the protest began its second day. This line is now totally closed to train traffic. Some trains have been diverted, and others have been cancelled. Sources said that though the protest is in West Bengal, in coming days it will intensify in Jharkhand too as several parts of State have substantial population of Kurmi.
The demand of Kurmi to be included in ST category also assumes importance as recently, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave nod for the inclusion of tribes of five states in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.