Trains under the jurisdiction of South Eastern Railway (SER) and East Coast Railway (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Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha as an indefinite rail blockade called by Kurmi organisations from September 20 has been withdrawn, officials said.
As a precautionary measure, at least 11 trains were cancelled and 12 others diverted on September 19 under the jurisdiction of SER and 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 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“The indefinite rail blockade called by Kurmis has been withdrawn as our senior leaders are being harassed by police.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 September 20.
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.
Ms. Ohdar also urged the MPs from the community to raise the demand during the ongoing special session of Parliament.
The indefinite blockade on railway tracks was planned at Muri, Gomoh, Nimdih, Ghagra stations in Jharkhand, Khemasuli and Kustaur in West Bengal, and Harichandanpur, Jaraikela and Dhanpur in Odisha.