An Adivasi organisation today put up a 7-hour rail blockade at Kokrajhar station in Assam affecting train services between the North Eastern region and the rest of the country. Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) spokesman Nripen Bhattacharjee said movement of 18 trains including Dibrugarh Town-New Delhi Rajdhani Express was affected by the blockade. Other affected trains included Guwahati-Anand Vihar Terminal North East Express and Gandhidham-Guwahati Kamakhya Express. Up and down express trains besides local passengers trains were controlled at Bongaigaon and Lumding divisions in Assam, at Alipurduar and Cooch Behar in north Bengal and Kathihar in Bihar, Bhattachajee said. Train services were disrupted since 6 a m when the blockade began at Kokrajhar railway station by the Adivasi National Convention Committee (ANCC), railway sources said.
The ANCC has been agitating to press for their demands such as granting of Scheduled tribe status to the community, implementation of Traditional Forest dwellers Act and permanent settlement and land deeds to the tea garden workers of Assam. People came from lower Assam’s Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon districts and demonstrated on railway tracks in Kokrajhar with banners and placards and shouted slogans in support of their demands.