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Rediff.com  » News » Agartala-Dhaka Maitree bus service to resume on October 1

Agartala-Dhaka Maitree bus service to resume on October 1

September 26, 2012 14:58 IST

The bus service has remained suspended after the torching of a Maitree bus by a mob at Narsingdi in Bangladesh on September 21. Syed Tashfin Chowdhury reports from Dhaka.

Maitree bus travellers from India to Bangladesh and vice versa will be able to avail the services route between Agartala and Dhaka tentatively from October 1, around when the repair work on a spare Maitree bus may be completed. The bus service has remained suspended after the torching of a Maitree bus inside Bangladesh on Friday, September 21.

The bus was torched by a mob at Narsingdi of Bangladesh "in a case of mistaken identity", reported the Press Trust of India. At the time, the bus had 12 Indian and 10 Bangladeshi passengers on board, Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka Pankaj Sharan had informed Tripura Chief Secretary Kumar Panda.

The driver of the bus and his assistant had sustained minor injuries while the passengers were safe. As a spare Maitree bus is still undergoing repairs, the service has remained temporarily suspended ever since.

The incident stemmed from a clash that occurred in Narsingdi on Friday, which, as reported by the 'Daily Star' and several other media in Bangladesh, has left at least 50 people, including present Narsingdi municipality mayor Kamruzzaman and five Bangladeshi journalists, injured. The clash occurred after police foiled a procession brought out by Lokman Sangram Parishad earlier on the day.

The procession was launched against a political program scheduled to be addressed on September 24 by Bangladesh's Labour Minister Razi Uddin Ahmed Raju at Serajnagar High School premise in Raipura near Narsingdi. Narsingdi municipality mayor Kamruzzaman was quoted by the 'Daily Star' as saying on Friday that they protested against the minister for 'providing shelter to the killers of Lokman'.

The Lokman Sangram Parishad is basically demanding investigation into the murder of former Narsingdi mayor Lokman Hossain and bringing to book the perpetrators of the crime.

Lokman Hossain had succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on November 1, last year, after being shot by masked men at the town Awami League office on Sadar Road of Narsingdi.

Besides torching the bus, agitating people had also set fire to three vehicles in the area and vandalised another on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway of Bangladesh. The agitators had also blocked the highway while protesting police action on people belonging to the Lokman Sangram Parishad.

A two-member team of Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC) is scheduled to leave for Narsingdi on September 26 to lodge a formal complaint with the police there and conduct an inquiry into the incident, according to the PTI. As Maitree is insured, an inquiry is required to make a claim for the insurance.

Although Maitree is temporarily suspended, Shyamali, a Bangladeshi bus service that shuttles on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays of the week, is still running. Maitree itself, after being inaugurated in September, usually runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of a week from Agartala to Dhaka.

Syed Tashfin Chowdhury in Dhaka