Hefajat mayhem in B’baria: Train services to resume today
Operations of the Brahmanbaria railway station -- closed down about 12 weeks ago when a mob of activists belonging to Hefajat-e-Islam rampaged through it -- are scheduled to resume today.
A total of 12 mail, commuter and intercity trains will make stopovers at the station on June 15, according to a notice signed on Sunday by Rezaul Haque, deputy director (operations) of Traffic Transportation Branch, at Bangladesh Railway headquarters in Dhaka.
The notice said that from Tuesday, five pairs of mail or express and commuter trains will make regular stopovers at the station. Two lower and upper Surma Mail, two Mymensingh Express, two Karnafuli commuters and four Titas commuter trains will resume ply the Dhaka-Akhaura route.
The next day, from June 16, the Dhaka-Sylhet intercity Parabat Express train will start making stopovers at the station.
Brahmanbaria railway station was designated a 'B' class category. But the huge damage inflicted on the station has caused it to be downgraded to 'D' class category.
Under the circumstances, taking convenience of passengers into consideration, the authorities have decided to resume train services at the station after classifying it under 'D' class category, stated the notice.
Kabir Hossain, chief booking assistant of Brahmanbaria railway station, said it has been the second largest station in the country in terms of total sales at ticket counters.
The station ranks third in the country based on total number of passengers it serves. More than 2,500 passengers travel from the station every day to Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Noakhali and other destinations in the country.
On March 26, railway link between the capital and several major cities, including Chattogram and Sylhet, was severed after Hefajat activists along with Qaumi madrasa students vandalised and torched Brahmanbaria railway station centring the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The vandals first set afire the control panel and torched seven rooms inside the railway station complex. After destroying all furniture including waiting chairs for passengers, they threw those out of the platform and set those on fire.
With the signalling system of the station completely destroyed, the railway authorities suspended arrival or departure of all trains at the station from the next day, on March 27.