According to the data released by the East Coast Railway (ECoR),142 ‘rail rokos’ have been organised by various political outfits and organisations in Odisha between 2016 and 2018, as reported by The New Indian Express (TNIE). Thus, a train was stopped on its tracks, every ten days.
In ‘rail rokos,’ politically motivated members and volunteers obstruct the free passage of public trains carrying passengers to make a statement against the ruling dispensation.
While the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) staged only one such protest, Congress took the lead with 18 such demonstrations. YSRCP, CPI(M) were behind at least ten ‘rail rokos’ each.
Also, the administration has been lax in enforcing strict guidelines against such protests which negatively impact the lives of ordinary citizens living in the state. Naveen Patnaik of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is the current Chief Minister of the state and is also its longest-serving one.
A 24-hour maha-bandh had been called in Odisha on Monday (3 December) to seek the establishment of permanent benches of the Odisha High Court in Blangir. Due to this, while 13 trains have been cancelled, 10 trains were short-terminated.