The old demand for carving out a separate state of Vidarbha
from Maharashtra was intensified Monday when some activists stopped
the Vidarbha Express near here.
According to a Central Railway official, around 200 activists of the
Youth Front halted the Mumbai-Nagpur Vidarbha Express on the
outskirts of the state’s second capital Nagpur by lying down across
the railway tracks.
Railway authorities summoned the
police who dispersed the protesters and the train proceeded on its
onward journey after a delay of around 15 minutes.
“There was no violence of any kind or
any damage due to the train-stopping incident,” a railway official
At the same time, a few pro-Vidarbha
legislators resorted to raising slogans for a separate state during
the ongoing winter session of the state legislature here. Several
pro-Vidarbha activists also demonstrated outside the assembly.
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS)
leader Kishor Tiwari said the struggle has been going on since 1958
for the region’s development and progress of over 2.8 crore people
“The region has been exploited by
successive state governments for its rich natural resources. While
the rest of the state has progressed, Vidarbha is among the most
backward regions in the country,” Said Tiwari.