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Protest hits train services

Hazaribagh, Feb. 20: Train movement got paralysed as 4,000-odd residents of Bagoder and Saria in Giridih district squatted on tracks on the grand chord section of East Central Railway’s Dhanbad division for four hours today to demand sub-division status for Bagoder from state government.

Taking cue from the rail roko andolan of Ghatwars on February 12, the agitators led by CPI(ML) state committee member Rajkumar Yadav staged the dharna near Saria railway gate, 48km from Giridih district headquarters, from 5.30am to 9.30am.

The Ghatwars had blocked train movement at Dilua in Koderma and Parsabad in Giridih, drawing the attention of higher-ups to their demand for ST status for the community.

Similarly, on Thursday, the residents — armed with traditional weapons — raised slogans like “Hemant Soren murdabad” and “apna haq hum lekar rahenge” and refused to budge from their position unless their demand was met.

According to Yadav, a sub-division status for Bagodar with Saria as part of it was pending for a long time.

“Recently, chief minister Hemant Soren announced Dumri and Rajdhanwar as sub-divisions despite our party’s Bagodar MLA Binod Singh demanding this status since 2010 in the Assembly. A recommendation was also sent to the state government but they ignored it,” Yadav claimed.

Due to the protest, a goods train at Saria station and three passenger trains —West Bengal Samparak Kranti Express at Parsabad, an EMU passenger at Gajhandi in Koderma and Jammu Tawi-Kolkata Chitpur Express at Koderma station — remained stranded.

The agitation was finally lifted when land reforms deputy collector Pawan Kumar Mandal reached the spot and told Yadav that chief secretary R.S. Sharma had faxed a letter to Giridih deputy commissioner Diprava Lakra yesterday evening with the proposal to make Bagodar-Saria a sub-division.

The protesters then walked up to Saria stadium where party leaders addressed the gathering and said they would give two months’ time to the state government to fulfil its promise.


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