Commuters block railway tracks in West Bengal
(Sourced from PTI)
A section of commuters blocked railway tracks at several stations in West Bengal for about three hours on Thursday, demanding they be allowed to board staff special trains, amid the current COVID-19 restrictions, police said. Demonstrations were held at Mallickpur, Baruipur, Sonarpur, Ghutiari Sharif, and Diamond Harbour stations in the Sealdah South Division of the Eastern Railway.
Commuters assembled at these stations, alleging that they have been facing hardships to reach their places of work with no availability of public transport, a senior police officer said. They started agitating at the stations when they were not allowed to board staff special trains without valid documents by the Railway Protection Force personnel, he said.
The agitators also threw stones at a vehicle of Government Railway Police (GRP) at Mallickpur Station, while hundreds of protesters refused to vacate the railway tracks at Ghutiari Sharif in the Sealdah-Canning segment, disrupting the movement of staff special trains, the officer said. This was the second consecutive day that the commuters held demonstrations.
Following the requests of the GRP personnel, the blockade was lifted after about three hours in the morning, he said. Notably, the movement of local trains has been stopped since the imposition of COVID-19 restrictions in May. "We have urged the state government to allow us to run more trains with COVID-19 protocols," a spokesman of the Eastern Railway said.