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Bengal: Kurmi Stir For ST Tag Enters Sixth Day

Several organisations of the Kurmis blockaded railway tracks and adjacent NH 6, which connects Kolkata to Mumbai, at Khemasuli in Paschim Medinipur district and Kustaur station in Purulia district, they said.

Train services remained partially affected as Kurmis blocked tracks
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An agitation by the Kurmi community to press for their demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST), during which they blockaded railway tracks and roads in parts of West Bengal, entered the sixth day on Sunday, officials said.

Several organisations of the Kurmis blockaded railway tracks and adjacent NH 6, which connects Kolkata to Mumbai, at Khemasuli in Paschim Medinipur district and Kustaur station in Purulia district, they said. Seventy-four trains were cancelled and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on Thursday as a result of the blockade.

"A total of 496 trains have been cancelled since April 5 due to the ongoing stir," a South Eastern Railway statement said. Among the trains cancelled on Saturday were Howrah-Chakradharpur Express, Howrah-Bokaro Steel City Express, Ranchi-Bokaro Steel City Passenger Special, Howrah-Barbil Jan Shatabdi Express, Purulia- Howrah Express, LTT-Shalimar Express, Howrah -Pune Duronto Express, the SER said.

Puri-New Delhi Express, Howrah- Mumbai CSMT Gitanjali Express, Howrah -Titalagarh Express and Santragachi-Purulia Express were also cancelled, it said. At least 64 express and passenger trains were cancelled on Friday owing to the blockade.

Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on NH 6, triggering massive traffic snarls even on the adjoining roads in Paschim Medinipur and Jhargram districts. The Paschim Medinipur district administration officials held a meeting with the agitating organisations on Wednesday but 'failed' to reach a settlement. "The blockade will continue until our demands are met," said Kurmi Samaj West Bengal committee member Sushil Kumar Mahata.

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