Jharkhand: Tana Bhagats withdraw rail blockade after 57 hours

The agitation hit hard the coal sector as several goods trains were stranded, causing damages worth crores of rupees

Latehar: Members of the Tana Bhagat community withdrew their rail blockade in Jharkhand’s Latehar district in the early hours of Saturday, following which services normalised, officials said.

They started the blockade at Tori station on Wednesday evening, seeking amendment of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act — which protects the land rights of the tribals.

Several attempts to pacify the agitators over the past three days failed as the members of the tribal community sought a meeting with Chief Minister Hemant Soren at the protest venue.

However, after several hours of discussions with the local authorities, the agitators withdrew the blockades around 2 am on the assurance of MLA Baidyanath Ram that the chief minister would look into their demands.

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The community has been demanding that the provisions of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act be strengthened through an amendment, and its members be granted a tax waiver on any land they possessed.

Freight services resumed in the Barka Kana-Barwadih section around 4.15 am with the first goods train leaving the Tori Junction for Biratoli, Dhanbad’s divisional railway manager Anil Kumar Mishra told PTI.

Railway services were completely shut in the section for around 57 hours, and the Ranchi-bound Rajdhani Express got stuck at the Daltonganj station on Thursday, following which 930 passengers of the train had to be sent to their destinations in buses, officials said.

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The agitation hit hard the coal sector as several goods trains were stranded, causing damages worth crores of rupees, they said.

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