Blockade disrupts train services in Bengal

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Kolkata, Feb 16 (IANS) Train services were temporarily disrupted in West Bengal on Friday as the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) workers blocked railway tracks at 62 places in the state.

The DYFI was demanding the filling up of vacant railway posts and protesting against the re-recruitment of retired employees.

Though the blockade was lifted after an hour, a number of trains got delayed and cancelled during the peak office hours.

“Eight EMU locals had to be detained for 20 minutes in Sealdah main section while two pairs of EMU locals had to be cancelled and another 14 of them had to be held back due to the obstruction,” an official from Eastern Railway said.

Terming the programme as a “token protest” against the railway authorities, the youth wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said four of their activists were injured during the agitation after being hit by a train while demonstrating.

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“Four of our activists got hit by a train at Kolkata’s Jadavpur railway station as the train was not halted inspite of people demonstrating on the tracks. All of them had to be hospitalised,” Zamir Mollah, state secretary of DYFI told IANS.

He also alleged that 20 of their activists got injured after police resorted to a baton charge to remove the blockade in Birbhum while the party’s general secretary Avoy Mukherjee was heckled by police in Purulia district’s Adra.

The party also protested against the privatisation of railway services and the proposal to shut down eight rail routes in the state for commercial reasons.

The commercial department of Eastern Railway had earlier written to the state government, seeking its consent for the closure of eight “commercially non-viable” railway routes in Bengal unless the state bore 50 per cent of the losses.

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