An indefinite ‘rail roko’ called by the Greater Cooch Behar Peoples Association (GCPA) demanding C category statehood or Union Territory status for Cooch Behar began this morning, disrupting movement of trains.
Due to the stir, several long distance trains were held up at various stations, a Northeast Frontier Railway official said in Guwahati.
As part of the agitation which began at about 6 AM today, GCPA supporters squatted on the railway tracks in New Cooch Behar station. They are demanding that representatives of the Home Ministry should come here to hold talks with them.
As a result of the rail roko, Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express was stranded at Salekati in Assam, New Delhi-Dibrugarh Mail at New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal), Howrah-Dibrugarh Kamrup Express at Dhupguri (West Bengal), Up Rajdhani Express and North-East Express at New Jalpaiguri, the Railway official said.
While Dn Rajdhani Express (via Kanpur) was stranded at Bongaigaon, Dn Kamrup Express was stranded at Barpeta Road station in Assam. New Jalpaiguri Rangiya passenger train has been cancelled in view of the agitation, the official said.
GCPA leader Bangshi Badan Barman said Cooch Behar was included in India following an agreement between the then Maharaja of Cooch Behar and the Government of India. Cooch Behar enjoyed status of C category state for about three months but the then West Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy included Cooch Behar into the state as a district.
The GCPA leader said they will not withdraw the movement till their demand to make Cooch Behar a C category state or Union Territory status is accepted.