Bangladesh violence hits trade, bus services with India

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 18, 2013 16:20 hrs

Agartala, July 18 (IANS) Trade between Tripura and Bangladesh and bus services between Agartala and Dhaka were badly affected due to violence in the neighbouring country after the death sentence to an Islamic party leader, officials said here Thursday.

"Trade between Bangladesh and (India's northeastern state of) Tripura was badly affected as hundreds of trucks were stranded on either side of the Akhaurah checkpost and other LCS (land customs stations) in Tripura due to the shutdown in that country," a customs official here said.

"Few hundred trucks filled with Bangladeshi goods have been stranded on the other side of the border and are unable to proceed towards the Akhaurah LCS in view of the strike in Bangladesh," he said.

Agartala Exporters-Importers Association general secretary Habul Biswas told reporters that over 700 workers are involved in the trading at the Akhaurah checkpost and other LCSs but as labourers of Bangladesh were not available and security fear among the truck operators, the export-import business between the two countries has become crippled.

Akhaurah is one of the most important international trading land ports in northeast India adjacent to Agartala with an average of 200 Bangladeshi trucks loaded with goods coming to Tripura every day.

According to Biswas, on an average, business worth Rs.15 million takes place everyday through Akhaurah, the second most important international trading land port along India and Bangladesh after the Petrapol-Banepole checkpost in West Bengal.

Trade between India and Bangladesh has been taking place through Akhaurah and five other land customs stations in Tripura, which shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh.

The conditions in Bangladesh also led to suspension of the Dhaka-Agartala bus service.

"Due to security reasons, the buses between Dhaka and Agartala are not plying since Wednesday. The bus service expected to resume Friday," said an official of the Tripura Road Transport Corporation, one of the operators of the Dhaka-Agartala bus service.

The Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed the Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War, has been organising protests and shut down across the country since Monday to protest the death sentence of the party's secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujaheed by an international tribunal set up by the Awami League led government.

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