Strike disrupts rail services in northeast
A 100-hour strike called by the indigenous people in southern Assam disrupted railway services in parts of the northeastern region for the third day Friday.
A meter gauge railway line passes through Dima Hasao district of southern Assam, connecting the Tripura capital Agartala, Bairabi in northern Mizoram and Jiribam in western Manipur besides districts of southern Assam with the rest of the country.
The North Cachar Hills Indigenous Students Forum (NCHISF) and the North Cachar Hills Indigenous Women Forum ((NCHIWF) have jointly called the protest.
The strike began Wednesday morning in support of an autonomous district council in Cachar hills, a police official told the media at Silchar.
Trains carrying food and other essentials have been "badly affected", a Tripura government official told IANS.
"Hundreds of passengers were stranded in Tripura and elsewhere as the Northeast Frontier Railway suspended services in the region," the official added.
Assam government officials held an inconclusive meeting with NCHISF and NCHIWF leaders Thursday.
"The officials are still persuading them to withdraw the strike," an official source told IANS. The strikers have halted movement of trains in the region.
The two outfits, representing non-Dimasa ethnic groups, are demanding bifurcation of Dima Hasao district into two autonomous districts.
The North Cachar Hills district was renamed Dima Hasao last year, triggering protests by non-Dimasa ethnic tribals.
Dimasas are the dominant tribe in North Cachar Hills while many non-Dimasa tribes live in the area.
(Posted on 28-02-2014)