Commuters block tracks in Bengal demanding they be allowed to board staff special trains

·1-min read

Kolkata, Nov 2 (PTI) Commuters squatted on railway tracks in at least three stations in West Bengal's Hooghly district on Monday demanding they be allowed to board staff special trains, police said.

The blockade at Rishra, Baidyabati and Sheoraphuli stations till noon halted the movement of at least two staff special trains on the Howrah-Bandel section of the Eastern Railway, a police officer said.

The agitators, ranging from private sector employees to daily wagers, shouted slogans in support of their cause.

The protesters complained they were not being allowed to board the near-empty staff special trains.

'We are facing financial distress due to the absence of any alternative mass public transport to reach our offices in Kolkata. We should be allowed to board the trains with tickets,' commuter Balmiki Paswan said in Rishra.

The blockade comes two days after over 100 commuters tried to force their way into a staff special train in Howrah station, leading to a scuffle with railway police personnel.

The Eastern Railway had claimed the commuters were chased away by RPF and GRP personnel, while some agitators alleged that they were lathi-charged.

The state government has convened a meeting with railway officials during the day to discuss ways to resume suburban train services in a restricted manner. PTI SUS ACD ACD