• Saturday, December 09, 2023


Bombs hurled at India-Bangladesh train the day prime ministers Modi, Hasina inaugurate rail, power projects

Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported that windows of one of the compartments of the train were damaged in the explosions but nobody was hurt.

The Maitree Express train that runs between India and Bangladesh (Photo by DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

A COUPLE of crude bombs were hurled at the Maitree (Friendship) Express train that connects Kolkata, capital of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, and Dhaka, the capital of the neighbouring Bangladesh, by unidentified attackers in Pabna district of Bangladesh on Wednesday (1), the same day when the prime ministers of the two south Asian nations jointly inaugurated through video-conferencing a key railway route between Nischintapur in the north-eastern Indian state of Tripura and Gangasagar in Bangladesh.

According to the Dhaka Tribune newspaper, the bombs exploded close to the Dhaka-bound train near Ishwardi Junction around 12 pm local time in Bangladesh, adding that no passenger was injured. Windows of one of the compartments of the train got damaged, the report said. The train, however, continued with its journey towards the Bangladeshi capital.

Three trains run between India and Bangladesh with Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan (Bond) Express and New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka Mitali (Friendship) Express being the other two.

“Two crude bombs were hurled at the train, damaging one of the train’s windows. Fortunately, there was no further damage. We are investigating the matter thoroughly,” the Tribune quoted Pabna additional superintendent of police (administration-Finance) Masud Alam as saying.

Bangladesh PM lauds India ties

The day also saw the inauguration of three projects in Bangladesh that are assisted by India. Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina said on the occasion that the projects proved that friendly relations between neighbouring nations can accelerate mutual economic development.

“I think it is an instance for the world,” Hasina said after virtually inaugurating the projects jointly with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. The projects are The Akhaura-Agartala cross-border rail link, Khulna-Mongla port rail line, and Unit II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant in Bangladesh.

“We have proved that good relations with the neighbour accelerate the country’s development,” Hasina said and added that she expected relations with India to grow steadily for the common benefit of the people from the two countries. “We today jointly inaugurated three projects. It is a demonstration of having rare friendly relations and mutual cooperation. Bangladesh and India will attain many successes in the days to come through mutual cooperation, which will strengthen the relationship between the two countries further in the future,” Hasina said.

The Akhaura-Agartala cross-border rail link project has been executed under the Government of India grant assistance of Rs 392.52 crore extended to Bangladesh. The length of the rail link is 12.24 kilometres (km) with a 6.78 km dual gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura in northeast India. Hasina said Bangladesh and India have achieved great success due to mutual cooperation in recent times.

She said the mutual efforts have helped ensure peace and stability in the northeast region of India and establish connectivity between many Indian states with its northeast part through Chattogram and Mongla Ports. She said they have given an opportunity to India to use Chattogram and Mongla Ports and Chattogram Airport.

Modi said in an interaction with Hasina over video-conferencing, “It is a matter of joy that we have connected once again to celebrate the success of the India-Bangladesh cooperation,” PM Modi said in an interaction with Sheikh Hasina over video-conferencing.
“In the past nine years, the work we have done together has not happened in decades,” he said.

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