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Adivasis stage rail blockade for ST status

Activists of United Forum of Adivasi organisations staging a rail blockade programme in Kokrajhar on Monday. – UB Photos
 KOKRAJHAR, Dec 5 - Train service of the Northeastern Frontier Railway (NFR) via Fakiragram junction of Kokrajhar district was disrupted this morning for nearly five hours, including Rajdhani Express train, following a rail blockade at Kokrajhar Railway Station by the Adivasi National Convention Committee (ANCC).

 ANCC, a conglomeration organisation of the ceasefire militant outfits, and other Adivasi organisations observed the blockade programme today demanding early granting of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the communities, implementation of Traditional Forest Dwellers Act, permanent allotment of land and land pattas to the tea garden workers in Assam and settlement of the demands of the ceasefire militant outfits of the Adivasi communities through political negotiation.

Hundreds of Adivasi people from various districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri, Bongaigaon etc., thronged the rail track with banners, festoons and placards to blockade which began from 6 am and shouted slogans for the fulfilment of their demands at the earliest.

ANCC president Boyal Hembrom, secretary Birsing Munda, AKSSA president Kamaleswar Toppo, among others, also joined the blockade programme.

The leaders have also alleged that both State and Central governments have been politicising over the issues of the Adavasi for a long time.

The blockade was later lifted at around 11.30 am after district administration headed by Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner Bibakananda Choudhury assured them to arrange talks with the ANCC leaders to discuss their demands.

Several express trains were controlled at different railway stations in lower Assam and in North Bengal during the blockade period.

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