Sumit Biswas and Subrata Biswas: The movement of the Kurmi community fell on the fourth day demanding inclusion in the tribal community. In a festive mood, the agitators are continuing to lay siege to Kustaur in Purulia, Khemashuli railway station in Jhargram. Eating chola-muri while sitting on the railway line, playing dhamsa-madal and dancing at the station is going on in full swing. Their message is clear, there is no question of lifting the blockade. Meanwhile, many trains have been canceled in several divisions including Adra, Kharagpur due to this blockade of Kurmi. It is reported that the passengers are in great trouble, the railway is suffering a lot of damage. All in all, the complexity surrounding this movement of Kurmids is increasing gradually.
The appearance of the railway station has changed. Tents beside the railway tracks, cooking at stations, dancing, dhamsa-madal. Sometimes sitting on the track, sometimes lying down, the people of the Kurmi community of Purulia keep the road moving. Now they are desperate to get their demands. The Kurmira clearly understood that if this movement does not hit the larger interests, the rights cannot be taken away. And so fully prepared chose the path of continuous blockade. Railways, roads have practically come to a standstill.
Realizing the magnitude of this movement, the state backward class welfare department called the agitators to a meeting on Friday to handle the situation. But they rejected that proposal in one word. There is no thought of sitting in talks or lifting the blockade, said Ajit Prasad Mahato, the head of the Kurmi Samaj and the leader of the movement. His only statement is, “The center has sent the TRI report to the state, has it been sent by the state government?” If sent, then show us the copy. If we don’t get that report, there is no question of ending the movement.”
Meanwhile, the railway has realized that this movement of the Kurmi community will not be settled easily. On Thursday night, 21 trains were canceled and six trains were diverted. Apart from the cancellation of trains from Friday morning, several trains are departing from Howrah, Santragachi, Kharagpur and going to Adra. According to Adra Division sources, 22 trains were canceled on the first day of the blockade, 62 on the second day, and 111 on the third day.
Similar to Purulia, Jhargram’s Khemashuli has also continued its protest program by blocking railways and roads on behalf of the tribal community Kurmi Samaj. As a result of continuous rail blockade, 7 lakh passengers could not even buy tickets. The loss of railways is more than 24 crore rupees. On the other hand, thousands of trucks, cargo lorries and many vehicles are parked on National Highway No. 6. And the raw materials, vegetables, fruits in that car are getting wasted. Items worth billions of rupees are being wasted.