The rail blockade agitation carried out jointly by different Koch Rajbongshi bodies at many places in the state on Monday in protest against Central and State government’s failure to grant ST (Scheduled Tribe) status to the community turned violent at Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district.
15 persons mostly protesters were injured in police’s lathi charge and tear gas shell firing. Police reportedly fired several rounds in the air to disperse violent protesters. Six government vehicles were damaged in stone pelting by the supporters of rail blockade agitation.
From 5:00 in the morning, thousands of Koch Rajbongshi people started ‘rail blockade’ at Choutara rail station in Gossaigaon sub division.
Due to the ‘rail blockade’, train movements – up and down was affected in the state. NF Railways cancelled two local trains due to the protest.
“When Narendra Modi addressed a rally at Bongaigaon in 2014, he announced that ST status would be given to Koch Rajbongshi community within six months of BJP government coming to power. This is the fifth year in power for the government at the Centre. Nothing in the front of granting ST status to us materialised in last four years. We will teach a lesson in the next Lok Sabha election” , said functionary of Koch Rajbongshi Sanmilani.
The Kamakhya Intercity (15771 up) and BG Passenger(55714 Dn) were cancelled. While, the Jaswantpur Express train (12551 up) was detained at the New Coochbehar railway station, the Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express (12423) was diverted via Fakiragram, Golokganj, New Coochbehar, West Bengal at Chautara station. A goods train was also detained at the Kokrajhar station.
The protesters also demanded creation of separate Kamatapur state by carving out Koch Rajbongshi dominated areas from Assam.
At Simaluguri in Sivasagar district too, Koch Rajbiongshi bodies staged ‘ rail blockade’ protest.