Protests demanding separate state affect train services in north Bengal

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Kolkata, Jan 19 (IANS) Train services were affected in parts of north Bengal on Friday after protesters demanding for a separate Kamtapur state blocked rail tracks.

The rail-blockade protests have been conducted jointly by the Kamtapur People’s Party (United) and All Kamtapur Student Union (AKSU).

The agitators have blockedtracks near the Jaldhaka Railway bridge between the New Maynaguri and Betgara stations — an important crossover point between north Bengal with Assam.

As a result, the Vande Bharat Express and Kamrup Express are currently stranded at the Betgara railway station in Jalpaiguri district.

Even local train services have been disrupted.

The routes of some of the trains passing through affected area had to be diverted.

A huge contingent of security forces, including personnel from the West Bengal Police, Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF), has been deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

The agitation will continue till 6 p.m.

According to the AKSU leader Suman Roy, their protest is to demand of the separate Kamtapur state as well as recognition of the Kamtapuri language.

“We have made several representations to both the Union and the state governments before. But our plea has been repeatedly ignored and hence we are being forced to go towards this path of agitation,” he said.

Roy also said that they will hold bigger agitations in the coming days if their demands were not fulfilled.



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