Railway services affected as Kurmis continue blockade at two stations in Bengal

Train services of the South Eastern Railway (SER) remained partially affected on Wednesday as Kurmis continued blocking tracks at two stations in West Bengal for more than 24 hours to press for their demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

The blockades at Khemasuli in Paschim Medinipur district and Kustaur in Purulia district, which began at 4 AM on Tuesday, continued on Wednesday. Agitators lifted blockades at other railway stations by Tuesday evening.

Besides the ST tag, the agitators are also demanding the inclusion of Kurmali language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.

The stir caused cancellation, diversion and short-termination of several express and passenger trains on Wednesday as well, an SER official said.

Among the trains that were cancelled are 12871 Howrah-Titlagarh Express, 12021/12022 Howrah-Barbil-Howrah Express and 18020 Dhanbad-Jhargram Express, he said.

Several other express trains have been diverted, while some MEMU passengers have been scheduled to be short-terminated/short-originated owing to the ongoing agitation, the official said.

Due to the stir, the SER had on Tuesday cancelled 24 trains, diverted 20 and short-terminated or short-originated 14 trains, apart from rescheduling some others.

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