Alarmed at the recent bomb blast at Guwahati Railway station which claimed 14 lives and people of doubtful nationality populating the station, Railways registered coolies on Tuesday staged a dharna in Guwahati demanding that such people be removed from the premises within a month.
Shouting slogans like "Go back Bangladeshis" and "save Railway station" in front of the Northeast Frontier Railway headquarters in Guwahati on Monday, the coolies under the banner of Akhil Bharatiya Railway Coolie Sangathan demanded that unregistered coolies at the station should also be removed within the month.
The demonstrators, who numbered more than a thousand, submitted a memorandum to the NF Railway general manager that armed youths of doubtful nationality had threatened some of their colleagues on November 29 and asked them to leave the station premises immediately or face dire consequences.
The GRP and RPF were informed of the incident but action was yet to be taken, they said alleging some of the security personnel let off these people for monetary considerations.
The coolies, led by Sangathan chairman Mangat Ram Saini, also took out a procession from Maligaon railway station before demonstrating in front of the NF Railway headquarters nearby.
They accused the Centre of failing to implement a proposal in the 2004 Railway budget granting fourth-grade status to coolies and demanded pension, Rs 1 lakh grant in the event of their death, free railway passes to their families, a stop to new coolie licenses, and the charge of handling of parcels be given to them instead of private parties. Waiting rooms with drinking water facilities for them were the other demands.