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    HomeNationalTrains in Odisha diverted due to Kurmi agitation

    Trains in Odisha diverted due to Kurmi agitation

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    At least 11 trains were cancelled and 12 others diverted in Jharkhand and Odisha due to a rail blockade called by Kurmi organizations. The blockade is in protest of the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Kurmi community and the inclusion of Kurmali language in the Constitution. The South Eastern Railway (SER) and East Coast Railway (ECoR) are affected by the blockade.

    Several Kurmi bodies have called for an indefinite railway blockade at nine railway stations in Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha starting from September 20. The SER has cancelled nine express trains and diverted eight others in the Ranchi railway division, while the ECoR has cancelled two trains and diverted four others.

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    The Totemik Kurmi Vikas Morcha (TKVM), a leading Kurmi body in Jharkhand, stated that various organizations, including Adivasi Kurmi Samaj of West Bengal and Kurmi Sena of Odisha, will participate in the protest. The railway tracks at Muri, Gomoh, Nimdih, Ghagra stations in Jharkhand, Khemasuli and Kustaur in West Bengal, and Harichandanpur, Jaraikela, and Dhanpur in Odisha will be blocked indefinitely.

    According to Sheetal Ohdar, the president of TKVM, thousands of people from the Kurmi community will participate in the protest wearing traditional dress. They will play drums, musical instruments, and perform various traditional dances.

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    Harmohan Mahto, a spokesperson for Adivasi Kurmi Samaj (AKS), claimed that Kurmis were listed as aboriginal tribes during British rule in 1913. However, when the Centre notified the ST list on September 6, 1950, Kurmis were placed in the list of Other Backward Castes (OBC) in West Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha. Mahto emphasized that Kurmis have been tribal since ancient times, and their population in the three states is estimated to be more than two crores.

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