Cooch Behar movement disrupts train traffic in Bengal

Kolkata, Feb 23 (IANS) The indefinite agitation in West Bengal by Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association continued to disrupt the movement of trains for the fourth day on Tuesday.

According to Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), over three dozen trains, including the Awadh Assam Express and the North East Express, have been cancelled on account of agitations by Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association (GCPA) as well as by the members of the Jat community in Haryana.

GCPA has been conducting a ‘rail roko’ (trains blockade) agitation to press for its demand for ‘C-category’ statehood or union territory status for Cooch Behar in northern West Bengal.

GCPA activists have laid blockades across railway tracks, demanding dialogue with union home ministry officials to resolve the issue.

“Unless our demands are met, we will continue with our agitation. Despite submitting memorandums to the central government, including the home ministry, we haven’t received any kind of reply,” GCPA chief Bangshi Badan Barman said.

“Our demands are age-old and a result of the treaty between the government of India and Maharaja Jagadipendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur, the then king of Cooch Behar princely state. So, unless our demands are met, we will continue to agitate,” added Barman.

The demands include official recognition for Rajbanshi language, induction of special regiment called Narayani Sena of the erstwhile king of Cooch Behar, and the details of funds, the erstwhile king donated to the people of Cooch Behar.

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