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A rail blockade by a group seeking Scheduled Tribe status for the Koch-Rajbanshi community affected train services to and from the Northeast on Monday.
Northeast Frontier Railway officials said more than 500 protesters blocked the tracks at Choutara station close to the Assam-West Bengal border and at Simaluguri in eastern Assam. This affected the schedule of many passenger and goods trains.
The blockade was organised by the All Assam Koch-Rajbanshi Sammelan.
“When negotiations failed, the picketers started throwing stones. The police resorted to cane charge to disperse the crowd. Train services were restored after removal of obstructions and certification of track safety,” an NFR spokesperson said.
Many long-distance trains had to be halted at different stations because of the blockade, officials said. Two local passenger trains had to be cancelled while the Rajdhani Express and Guwahati-Bangalore Express were diverted via an alternative route.
Though no long-distance trains were cancelled, trains were running late as they had to be either diverted or controlled at different stations, NFR officials said.
This article first appeared on www.thehindu.com
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