The agitation comes a week after the Cabinet approved the inclusion of several communities in Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh in the list of Scheduled Tribes, and days after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda alleging that the Centre had failed to approve the inclusion of 160 communities in the ST list as recommended by the State government since 1978.
On Tuesday, South Eastern Railway cancelled 18 trains, diverted 13 and short-terminated 11 trains because of the blockades, officials said.
Currently, in Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand, the Kurmi community is classified under the Other Backward Classes group. The Odisha government also recognises the community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes. The State governments in Jharkhand and West Bengal have repeatedly recommended the inclusion of this community in the ST list.