A day after the Kurmi community people withdrew their rail blockades in parts of West Bengal on the fifth day of their agitation demanding scheduled tribe status, they relaxed an obstruction on NH-6 on Monday, an official said.
The decision to relax the road blockade at Khemasuli in Paschim Medinipur district was taken after the state government sent a letter to the functionaries of Kurmi Samaj West Bengal, inviting them to a meeting on April 11 at noon, he said. National Highway-6 connects Kolkata with Mumbai.
The relaxation will be in place till the end of the scheduled meeting with the state government on April 11 afternoon, Kurmi Samaj West Bengal President Rajesh Mahato said.
“We have agreed to join the meeting convened by the state government on Tuesday and relaxed the road blockade till the end of our interaction with the chief secretary. We will decide the next course of our agitation after the discussion,” Mahato said. Activists of the Kurmi organisation had on Sunday relaxed the obstruction for a few hours but resumed the blockade this morning, the district official said.
The rail blockade at Kustaur station in Adra Division and Khemasuli station in Kharagpur Division since April 5 was withdrawn on Sunday, the South Eastern Railway said in a statement.
The blockade at the two railway stations led to cancellation of around 500 express and passenger trains since April 5, causing immense hardship to thousands of passengers.
The Kurmis have been agitating over a string of demands, including recognition as a scheduled tribe, recognition of the Sarna religion and inclusion of the Kurmali language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.