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Protesting NRMU men halt rail traffic

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times   Ludhiana, April 30, 2013
First Published: 20:14 IST(30/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:52 IST(30/4/2013)

Hundreds of members of the Northern Railway Men's Union (NRMU) stopped a goods train near the railway station on Tuesday demanding action against the members of Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU), who allegedly attacked their five members at Ferozepur railway station on April 27.

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The protesters raised slogans against the railway authorities and demanded police action against the attackers.

Meanwhile, passengers were a harried lot as Katihar-Amritsar Express remained stationed at the city railway station for more than one hour due to the protest. The Shatabdi express also could not move at Dhandari railway station for several minutes. Shane Punjab and some other trains were also halted at other stations.

Kiranjeet Singh, a passenger, said the public was suffering due to dispute of two unions. Expressing ignorance about the clash between the two unions, he said the railway employees should find another way to mark their protest instead of harassing passengers who had to cover long distances.

Meanwhile, Paramjeet Singh, divisional secretary, All India Loco Running Staff Association, alleged that the URMU members had attacked the NRMU members.

He said the authorities had paid no heed to their complaints and failed to take action against the guilty employees. Paramjeet said the members had staged protest in other areas under Ferozepur division as well.
Stating that on Tuesday the union organised a one-hour protest till 11 am, he said the union would intensify the agitation if their demands were not met.

The injured NRMU members, Daljeet Singh (divisional secretary), Avtar Singh, Anil Kumar, Som Nath and Parminder Singh are undergoing treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital. Avtar had slipped into coma on Monday.

Paramjeet claimed that these members had gone to Ferozepur to submit the ballot boxes after the conclusion of elections for the Railway Union on Saturday. It was there that a number of URMU members attacked them, he alleged.

However, the URMU members have refuted these allegations. URMU general secretary BC Sharma had instead alleged that their four members were beaten up by the NRMU members and they were admitted in a hospital in Amritsar.

Station superintendent Ravinder Sharma said though trains had been delayed due to the protest, traffic was resumed after one hour around 11 am.

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