Demonstrators arrested from RKL railway station

(image) Bhubaneswar: 400 demonstrators were arrested from Rourkela railway station for trying to block train movement in the Howrah-Mumbai line due to rail-roko agitation on Sunday.

Normal train services were not affected by the rail roko agitation by the Rourkela Steering Development Committee (RDSC) demonstrators, railway sources said.

The district administration had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 crpc in the area on Saturday night view of the agitation and had deployed a large number of policemen in the railway station premises.

The RDSC comprising people of all walks of life and political parties have been demanding improvement of railway services in Rourkela like setting up of a railway terminus at Rourkela, opening of a railway division here under East Coast Railway, a washing ward and introduction of new trains.

As part of their agitation the RDSC activists marched in a procession waving banners and placards to the railway station and tried to sit on a dharna in the railway tracks but police arrested them including veteran CITU leader Bishnu Mohanty and SUCI leader Chhabi Mohanty.

Yesterday, the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Rourkela, S R Yadav had held a meeting of the RDSC members and apprised them the development at Bhubaneswar where Orissa chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik had a discussion with the top railway officials regarding the problem of Rourkela station and appealed them to refrain from the railroko agitation but it was rejected by them.

The RDSC had alleged that though Railways had been earning 35 per cent of its commercial revenue in the Rourkela route, it had been neglecting the area and no steps had been taken to solve the long-pending demands of the people despite reminders and discussion with the authorities.

Railway authorities were understood to have assured the chief minister to extend the Jammu Tawi express and Gorakhpur-Hatia express upto Rourkela, sources said.