Assam: Bodo protests hits train schedules

Train movement was affected across the Assam State after the ‘Rail Roko’ programme called by All Bodo Students’ Union  even as the North-East Frontier Railway controlled 21 Up and Down trains between different routes in Assam on Monday.

The 12-hour Railway blockade was called demanding early solution to the long-standing demand of Bodoland State and Political Right to the Bodos living outside the proposed Bodoland area.

Lakhs of passengers were seen waiting for their trains at different Railway stations across the State.

The 12-hour ‘Rail Roko’ programme started around 5 am after lakhs of Absu supporters blocking the tracks at different railway stations in Kokrajhar and Udalguri districts on Monday.

The 12-hour blockade was also supported by the Peoples’ Joing Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM)—a conglomeration of several Bodo and non-Bodo organizations in Bodoland and the pro-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

“Normal running of trains on Monday got affected due to Rail Roko agitation by Absu in places like Kokrajhar and Basugaon under Alipurduar Division and Udalguri under Rangiya Division of North-East Frontier Railway. Many Up and Down trains had to be controlled at various stations,” said NF Railway, CPRO Pranav Jyoti Sharma.

“All the passenger trains were controlled at stations where basic amenities like water and food items are available,” he said, adding that normal running of trains resumed after 3 pm when the Absu withdrew the blockade.

He said while 12 Up trains were controlled at different stations, nine Down trains were controlled during the blockade hours.

The organisers also announced series of agitational programmes like Mass Gathering in November, Maha Rally, Dharna and Hunger strike in New Delhi during the Winter Session of Parliament in December 2016 and 24-hour National Highway and Railway Blockade in January 2017 to press the Government for their demands.

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