People in various parts of the state on Friday blocked railway tracks, roads and national highways to protest against the Kathua rape-murder case and Unnao rape case. Several trains were running late due to the protests and a few others had to be cancelled. Rail protests were staged at Chengali station, Uluberia station, Park Circus and some other pockets of Kolkata. Railway authorities informed the Howrah police, following which police officers soon reached the spot, sources said. Road protests were staged on NH-6, and protesters also took out a rally in Salt Lake area. Protests included members of the public and some smaller organisations, with no single group appearing to spearhead them.
“Train services were severely affected due to public agitation in two spells in Howrah-Kharagpur section purely on non-Railway issue,” read a statement issued by the SER.
Many commuters faced problems due to the agitations, which caused 8 Up Mail/Express trains and 11 Down Mail trains to be rescheduled. Trains suffered detention enroute. Moreover, five Mail trains had to be rescheduled, while 28 pairs of Suburban Trains (EMU) were cancelled and three others were short terminated.
“The protests took place in two spells. The first protest started in Chengail station at 7.30 am and was withdrawn at 11.48 am. The second protest started at 2.40 pm and was withdrawn at 4 pm. No mail or express train had to be cancelled, while 15 local trains were cancelled and four express trains were rescheduled,” said SER spokesperson Sanjoy Ghosh.
A road blockade was set up on the NH-6, which connects Kolkata and Mumbai. Another protest was taken out by scholars in Salt Lake, as part of which at least 200 people marched from Karunamoyee to City-Centre.