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Mass dharna at railway station

Staff Reporter

People's representatives join protest

THRISSUR: The people's representatives, including the Mayor, MPs, an MLA and district panchayat president, along with the leaders of the political parties and social organisations staged a three-hour dharna in front of the Thrissur railway station on Wednesday.

The agitation which began at 6 a.m. was in protest against the decision to convert the Chennai-Alappuzha Express into a super-fast without arranging alternative commuting facilities. The speakers at the dharna said they would resort to intensify the stir if the authorities went ahead with the reforms. They said that thousands of commuters from Thrissur and Palakkad districts depended on the express train to reach their places of work at Ernakulam. Mayor K. Radhakrishnan; MPs C.K. Chandappan and Lonappan Nambadan; K.P. Rajendran, MLA; district panchayat president N.K. Subramanian, former Chairman of the Thrissur Urban Development Authority (TUDA) M. Muralidharan; former BJP State president K.V. Sreedharan; A.V. Vallabhan of NCP; A.L. Sebastian of Kerala Congress (M); Prince George of RSP; M.A. Krishnan of CPI(M); M.P. Pauly of Kerala Congress (Joseph) and V.S. Prince of CPI were among those who spoke on the occasion.

Social activists M. Madhavankutty; Shahul Hameed; Davies Kannanaikkal; K.B. Unnithan; Latha and Sivasankaran, and Corporation councillors M. Usman and Rajan Paramel participated in the dharna. A group of AIYF activists led by their leader K. Rajan and another group from the INTUC led by M.A. Avarusukutty extended support to the dharna. Speaker Therambil Ramakrishnan has sent fax messages to the Railway Minister, the Minister of State for Railways, and to the Railway Board authorities requesting them to stop the conversion of the Chennai-Alappuzha Express into a super-fast till alternative arrangements are made.

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