Security issues block resumption of Dhaka-Kolkata train

Dhaka, Aug 2 (IANS) The revival of the Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train looks uncertain this month with railways of Bangladesh and India referring security issues to “higher authorities”.

India is insisting on a 150-metre fence on the international border to prevent illegal immigrants taking advantage of the train service.

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India has been alleging influx of people from Bangladesh looking for jobs along the porous 4,300 km border, its longest border with a South Asian neighbour.

Called “Moitree Express”, the train had one more dry run arriving in Dhaka Wednesday.

However, Bangladesh Railways officials here say that their meeting with the Indian counterparts in Kolkata last week failed to resolve the differences on security arrangements.

Bangladesh argues that India has no such fencing arrangement for the New Delhi-Lahore “Samjhauta Express” run by India and Pakistan.

“Like the meeting in Dhaka, the Kolkata talks did not make any headway regarding the security issues, especially fencing of a stretch of 150 yards on the international frontier,” New Age quoted an unnamed official as saying.

Trains ran between Dhaka and Kolkata ran till 1965 but the service was halted after the India-Pakistan war that year.