Landslides, blockade disrupt rail services in northeast

Silchar (Assam), June 17 (IANS) Rail services in southern Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram were suspended following heavy landslides and a three-day rail blockade called by a student body, officials said Thursday.

‘Following torrential rains, landslides in five places in Assam’s North Cachar Hills district have disrupted the railway services since Tuesday,’ Northeast Fronter Railway area manager B.K. Mishra told reporters here.

The meter gauge railway line from Assam’s Guwahati city passes through southern Assam connecting land-locked Tripura’s capital Agartala and parts of Manipur and Mizoram with the rest of India.

Railway officials and engineers are busy clearing the landslides near Jatinga, Longrangjao, Mahur, Wadringdisa and Daotuhaja in Assam.

Meanwhile, a 72-hour railway blockade called by the Indigenous Students Forum (ISF) that began Thursday has also hit train traffic.

‘Fearing sabotage, we have suspended railway services in the region for three days,’ Mishra said.

The ISF, a non-Dimasa ethnic group students and youth body, has been demanding bifurcation of the North Cachar Hills district into two separate districts.

A few months back the government announced the renaming of the district as ‘Dimahasao’, triggering protests by the non-Dimasa ethnic tribals.

Dimasas are the dominant tribe in North Cachar Hills district.

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