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India suspends Samjhauta Express on its end, says lack of occupancy

Pakistan has already suspended services on its end amidst strain in ties in the aftermath of the February 14 terror attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Railway

The Railways has decided to suspend operations of the Indo-Pak on its side due to drastic decline in occupancy especially after the terror attack, sources said.

The has decided to cancel all operations from the train's next scheduled run.

has already suspended services on its end, officials said here, amidst strain in ties in the aftermath of the February 14 terror attack on personnel in and subsequent developments.

"With no passengers from Pakistan, it makes no sense to run it on our end. Hopefully we will be able to resume services once the tension de-escalates," a source said.

At least 40 passengers from both countries are believed to be stranded at Attari, the sources said.

had Wednesday cancelled the train's trip on the Wagah-stretchon its side, even as 27 passengers -- 23 Indians and three from the neighbouring country -- arrived at Attari from Delhi on an Indian rake which left the at 11:20 pm Wednesday night.

The Wagah station master sent a message to his Attari counterpart that the passenger and parcel train which comes to from the side at 12.30 pm will not be coming till further notice, officials said.

Earlier in the day, a (FO) spokesman said in a statement the operations of the train had been suspended Thursday "in view of the prevailing tensions between Pakistan and India."

The biweekly train was scheduled to depart from with 16 passengers. "will resume its operations as soon as the security situation improves between India and Pakistan," the FO said, not giving any specific date for resuming the services.

In New Delhi, Wednesday said, "We have not received any instructions from authorities about any change in the running of the We will follow all instructions given to us in this regard."


Originally, the train offered a through service with one rake going all the way between the terminals - Delhi in India to in Pakistan. However, now a Pakistani rake stops at Attari at which point passengers have to change trains and board an Indian rake.

The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for "agreement", comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach. The train service was started on July 22, 1976 under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations. From Lahore, the train departs on Monday and Thursday.

The sources said the footfall on the train, which generally records an occupancy of around 70 per cent, has fallen drastically post the attack on February 14 in which 40 jawans were killed.

First Published: Thu, February 28 2019. 18:10 IST
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