KOLKATA: People from the Kurmi community in West Bengal continued their ‘sit-in demonstration for the second day on Wednesday over their demand for Scheduled Tribe status, disrupting traffic at two railway stations and a national highway.
According to the report, the Adivasi Kurmi Samaj and West Bengal Kurmi Samaj organized the rail stop campaign, starting from 5 am at Khemasauli railway station in East Medinipur district and Kastor railway station in Purulia district. Additionally, the National Highway 6 in Khemsauli has been blocked since 6 am on Tuesday.
According to an official statement quoted by the news agency PTI, the protest is causing inconvenience to the general public. The protesters, however, remain firm on their demands and stated that the blockade will continue until their demands are met.
The West Bengal Kurmi community leader, Tapas Mahto, stated that the community has been demanding Scheduled Tribe status for a long time, and the government has failed to address their concerns. The Kurmi community is primarily an agrarian community, and they believe that the Scheduled Tribe status would bring them benefits in terms of education, employment, and social status.
The Kurmi community, which is classified as Other Backward Classes (OBC) in West Bengal, has been seeking Scheduled Tribe status for a while. They claim that the community is socially and economically disadvantaged, and the status would provide them with reservation in jobs and education, which they believe would improve their socio-economic status.
South Eastern Railway has canceled 46 trains due to the protest and eight trains were stopped before the destination.
Kurmis currently come under Other Backward Castes.
The Kurmi community is prevalent in different parts of the country, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal.
However, they have been categorized differently in various states, creating discrepancies and inequalities. The community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status is not new and has been a topic of discussion for a long time. The West Bengal government has yet to respond to their demands.