कुमरगंज Kumarganj (KMRJ): Nearly 3000 residents from 20 villages in Ratua police station blocked rail-tracks for three hours near Kumarganj station under North East Frontier Railway, 46 km from Malda town on Monday demanding stoppage of passenger trains.
A number of trains, including Howrah-bound Shatabdi Express, Katihar-Malda passenger got blocked at different stations. Later, a large contingent of GRP and RPF rushed to Kumarganj station to remove the blockade.
The blockade was lifted when the station manager of Samsi station assured the demonstrators to forward their demand for consideration.
Traders, teachers, students, women, farmers and youths from Kumarganj, Raninagar, Maharajnagar, Palashbona, Sambalpur, Pukhuria, Araidanga, Rajpur and other villages gathered near Kumarganj station around 7 a.m on Monday.
The villagers alleged that since the National Highway-81 had been in a deplorable condition for long, it became an ordeal for them to reach Malda by road.
They claimed that most of the buses and other vehicles had stopped plying via Kumarganj.
Hence, they were being compelled to go to Samsi to avail buses for reaching Malda. The demonstrators further alleged though approximately a lakh of people lived at 20 villages around Kumarganj, no passenger train stopped there. Subal Mandal, Sahera Khatun and others alleged that to catch a Kolkata or Siliguri-bound train at night, the villagers were compelled to go to Malda station hiring private vehicle and there they waited there for hours.
They demanded stoppage of trains like Kanchanjungha Express, Haate Bazare Express and some other trains at Kumarganj station so that such inconvenience can be averted.
The pradhan of Congress-run Araidanga gram panchayat Amal Pathak too extended support to the villagers’ movement.
Mr Pathak said that it was essential to sanction stoppage of passenger trains at Kumarganj station so that the villagers’ harassment comes to an end.
Station Manager of Samsi station S.N.Shukla said that he went to Kumarganj to pursuade the villagers to lift the blockade. Their demand would be forwarded to the railway ministry through proper channel for consideration.