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Stir hits train service

Dhanbad/Hazaribagh, Feb. 11: Three express trains, including Rajdhani, had to be diverted and as many passenger trains cancelled as 7,000-odd members of the Ghatwar community squatted on tracks on the grand chord section of East Central Railway’s Dhanbad division for six hours today to demand tribal status.

The massive dharna, which was launched near Dilua in Koderma district at 3.30am, was lifted around 9.45am. But, by then train services had been severely disrupted.

New Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express, New Delhi-Sealdah Rajdhani Express and Down Purva Express (running between New Delhi and Howrah) were forced to take the Mughalsarai-Patna route to reach their destinations via Mokama and Asansol.

The cancelled trains included Asansol-Varanasi Passenger and Dhanbad-Gaya Intercity Express on both up and down routes.

Over a dozen trains were stranded, like Doon Express at Koderma, Kalka Mail at Parsabad, Jodhpur-Howrah at Parasnath and Sampark Kranti and Sealdah-Ajmer Express at Gomoh leading to inordinate delays.

Dhanbad DRM B.B. Singh said, “The demands of the agitators are not related to railway services in any manner, yet they chose to disturb the rail traffic.”

The agitation was finally called off around 9.45am when Koderma SDO Sunil Kumar promised to send a team of Ghatwars to Delhi to hold talks with welfare ministry.