The protests demanding separate statehood for West Bengal's Cooch Behar district entered the fourth day on Tuesday. Three people have already died – two from cardiac arrest – after protestors blocked trains at the New Cooch Behar railway station, reported dna. Members of the Greater Cooch Behar People's Association, which is leading the protests, clashed with the police at the New Cooch Behar railway station. The GCPA wants a separate state that will include Cooch Behar, Uttar Dinajpur, and Dakshin Dinajpur in Bengal, and Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon in Assam.
GCPA leader Bangshi Badan Barman said, “Cooch Behar was included in India only after an agreement between the then Maharaja of Cooch Behar and the government of India in September, 1949. It enjoyed the status of a centrally administered state for about three months. Afterwards, the then West Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy included Cooch Behar as a district of West Bengal.” The association members said they will not call off their protests unless the Union Home Ministry officials talk to them about their demands. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “We are aware of the protests taking place… we are taking requisite steps.”
Even as the northern part of the country is still struggling due to violent protests for reservation by the Jat community members, the Santhal community on Monday launched an agitation in Assam's Kokrajhar town, demanding tribal status for themselves. Protestors blocked trains at the Assam railway station, disrupting railway services of the northeastern frontier.