GUWAHATI: A "Rail Roko" agitation by the All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) on Tuesday affected train services in Assam and adjoining states, forcing the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) to cancel at least 20 inbound and outbound trains inconveniencing thousands of travellers.
The "Rail Roko" was organised as part of the ABSU's agitation programme intensifying its long-standing demand for the creation of a separate Bodoland state involving the areas under the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD).
NFR CPRO Pranav Jyoti Sharma said picketers blocked railway tracks at Kokrajhar under Alipurduar division and at Dhekiajuli Road station under Rangiya division since 5 a.m. on Tuesday.
"As a result, running of trains was affected and at least 20 trains have been controlled at various stations so far," he added.
He said that around 14,000 to 15,000 ABSU supporters began the 12-hour agitation programme at Kokrajhar and Dhekiajuli railway stations.
The ABSU and several other organisations have decided to revive the agitation for a separate Bodoland state starting October 10. While the first phase of the agitation is to hold a "Rail Roko" programme, an indefinite economic blockade will be held in the BTAD from November if the government fails to respond to their demands.
The ABSU, the pro-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), has joined hands with the Peoples' Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM) in reviving their movement for a separate state.