Fresh Kurmi protests disrupt transport services in 3 tribal pockets of Bengal
Fresh protests by the people from the Kurmi community have disrupted transport services in three tribal-dominated districts of West Bengal’s Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore since Wednesday morning.
Kolkata: Fresh protests by the people from the Kurmi community have disrupted transport services in three tribal-dominated districts of West Bengal’s Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore since Wednesday morning.
The community has called a 12-hour bandh in the Jangalmahal area covering the tribal- dominated pickets in these three districts demanding Scheduled Tribe status for them. They have blamed that the reluctance of the state government is holding back their Scheduled Tribe status for a long time.
However, sources said that this time the impact was more on the inter-district bus services rather than the railways services. The picture was different in the beginning of this month when continuous rail and road blockades by the members of the community heavily disrupted both the bus and the train services.
Most of the shops, offices and merchant establishments remained closed on Wednesday morning. A few buses left the inter-district bus depots in the area early morning, which totally stopped with the course of the day. The normal functioning at the district courts in the areas were also affected.
The people from the Kurmi community staged agitation at different places carrying the traditional tribal arms and musical instruments.
The leaders of the agitation said that if their demands are not fulfilled in the coming days they will go for bigger agitation.
The main grievance of the agitators is that the West Bengal Cultural Research Institute, a state government body that works for indigenous tribes, is yet to recognise the Kurmis as representatives of primitive tribes. They also alleged that the reluctance of the institute or the state government to send a comprehensive report in the matter to the Union government is holding back the process of recognition of the Kurmi community under the Scheduled Tribe category.
On April 11, there was a bipartite meeting between the leaders of the community and the state government at the state secretariat of Nabanna. However, the meeting failed to evoke any positive result. On that day only the Kurmi leaders had threatened to go ahead with their agitation.