Cooch Behar: Train movement affected due to indefinite rail blockade

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Cooch Behar (West Bengal), Feb. 22 (ANI): Train services in Alipurduar division of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) remained disrupted for the third consecutive day on Monday due to an indefinite rail blockade at New Cooch Behar station in north Bengal.

Activists of Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association (GCPA) have put up an indefinite blockade on the tracks demanding a separate state.

The agitation has severely affected the rail traffic between West Bengal and north-eastern States, mainly Assam.

The squatters continued to block the tracks at New Cooch Behar station today when the reports last came in, seriously disrupting the regular movement of train traffic between Assam and rest of India from the north-east.

In a new development today, three leaders of Kamtapur Liberation Organisation, another group of the regional Rajbanshi ethnicity demanding a separate state of Kamtapur in the same north Bengal and Assam region, came and held talks with the GCPA.

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They refused to disclose details of deliberations. The GCPA demands include creation of a greater Cooch Behar state, or a Union Territory, carved out from part of north Bengal and some Assam districts.

Fifteen major trains remain cancelled on the route including the Sealdah-New Alipurduar Teesta Torsa Express, the Sealdah-New Cooch Behar Uttarbanga Express and the Howrah-Guwahati Saraighat Express.

Long-distance trains to and from the Northeast, including the Rajdhani, are being diverted through a Dooars route, which is a single-line track from Alipurduar Junction to Siliguri Junction. This is causing massive dislocation and late running of important long-distance trains.

Down Rajdhani and Down Bangaluru Express were stranded up at New Bongaigaon and Bongaigaon stations awaiting their turn to get a detour through the Dooars link. (ANI)

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