Northeast Frontier Railway partially restores services

Kolkata, Feb 24 (IANS) A day after an indefinite rail blockade demanding statehood or union territory status for Cooch Behar in northern West Bengal was lifted, train movement on the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) was partially restored on Wednesday.

Owing to the rail blockades by the Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association (GCPA) in Bengal as well as by the members of the Jat community in Haryana, the NFR had cancelled/diverted a host of trains.

According to the NFR, trains services over the New Jalpaiguri – New Coochbehar – New Bongaigaon section resumed during the day with at least 33 trains including the Kanchanjunga Express, Capital Express and Kamrup Express restored.

“However, complete normalcy of the train services will take time,” said an NFR spokesperson.

GCPA agitators, who were laying siege to the tracks at New Cooch Behar station seeking dialogue with union home ministry officials to resolve the issue since February 20, temporarily withdrew the stir after police and the district administration launched an operation to clear the tracks.

While two passengers died after being stranded due to the stir, at least 14 of the demonstrators were arrested while several people including policemen sustained injuries when they clashed with the security personnel during the drive to clear the tracks.

GCPA chief Bangshi Badan Barman has threatened to restart the stir at a later date to press for its demands which also include official recognition for Rajbanshi language.

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