Rly. action panel scales down protests

BELLARY Nov. 10. The Railway Action Committee, which is leading an indefinite agitation demanding the restoration of the Toranagal-Bellary Section to the Hubli Railway Division, has decided to restrict its protests to staging of demonstrations. Since August 12, the committee had been detaining trains here. When the arrest of the protestors began on October 26, the rail roko agitation was almost dropped.

The committee, which met here on Sunday, decided to change its strategy as the Railway Minister, Nitish Kumar, had promised to concede its demands.

Demonstrations will be staged in front of the railway station here and pamphlets listing its demands distributed. The committee will also meet the MLAs from the district and the MPs from the State and impress upon them the need to retain the revenue-earning section in the Hubli Division of the new South Western Railway Zone. They will be requested to take up the matter with the Union Government. A delegation will meet the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, and visit New Delhi, when Parliament is in session. The MLAs and the MPs would be urged to arrange a meeting with the authorities concerned.

K.M. Maheshwaraswamy, Convenor of the committee, said he had met the Union ministers, George Fernandes, Nitish Kumar, Ananth Kumar, Srinivasa Prasad, and Sushma Swaraj, in New Delhi last week, and all of them had agreed to do the needful.

The meeting took exception to the "failure" of the elected representatives in taking up the cause and pressuring the Centre to concede the demand. The committee members said demonstrations would be held in protest against their attitude.

Shivaram Reddy of the Janata Dal (S), Joshwa, Nepakshi, and Gopinath of the Congress, Maridevaiah of the Kannada Kriya Samiti, Hampanagouda, President of the District Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Doddabasappa, and Prema Goud, spoke.

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