Cooch Behar agitation called off after four days
Banshi Badan Barman, leader of GCPA said that the agitation was called off. He, however, denied attack on police personnel.
The agitators had blocked the track for the past four days. The Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu during his visit to Kolkata on Sunday had requested the agitators to clear the railway tracks as it was causing great inconvenience to the public. The Railways have so far lost Rs 100 crore as revenue.
The movement has claimed three lives of passengers travelling in the trains that got stuck at New Cooch Behar station. Fifty –one- year-old Rahima Khatun, a resident of Bihar died inside an over-crowded train. She was returning along with her family members to her home from Kamrup by Rajendra Nagar Express. As the train was over-crowded she fell ill inside the running train. When the train reached Kokrajhar she was found dead by her relatives. Her body was taken to a nearby hospital after the train had reached Alipurduar Junction. The victim’s son Kamran Ahmed said that his mother was physically weak. He also said that Rahima died due to unhealthy atmosphere inside the train.
The two other persons who died due to the rail block movement are Khem Bahadur Chetri and Binay Kumar Thakur. Binay, a resident of Kishangunj in Bihar died while returning from Assam on Saturday. Khem Bahadur died on Monday at Alipurduar after he fell ill. The police through public address system requested the agitators to clear the railway tracks. Raj Kanojia, DG IB also went to the spot and held talks with the leaders and requested them to clear the tracks as people of the area were greatly inconvenienced.
But as the requests fell flat, police began clearing the tracks from the afternoon. The agitators were chased away and the make-shift camps were pulled down. The agitators pelted stones at the police injuring three of them.
Kanojia said talks were being held with senior railway officials and train services would be normal from Tuesday night.
In 2005 a movement demanding a separate greater Cooch Behar state was launched. During the movement, three police personnel and two GCPA activists were killed in a clash. Banshi Badan Barman was arrested following the incident. Later he was released on bail. This time they were again trying to revive their old demand for separate state ahead of Assembly Election.