Agartala: Agartala-Dhaka bus service has been temporarily suspended following torching of India's 'Maitree' passenger bus by a mob at Narsingdi in Bangladesh on Friday.

"The Agartala-Dhaka bus service has been suspended temporarily after Maitree was set afire by miscreants in Narsingdi. It would resume after an inquiry and repairing of the old bus," Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC) Managing Director Rabindra Reang said.

The bus was reportedly torched in a case of mistaken identity during a political clash in the area.

A two-member team of TRTC would leave for Narsingdi, 70 km from here, on Monday to lodge a formal complaint with the police there and conduct an inquiry into the incident, Reang said, adding, 'Maitree' is insured and an inquiry was necessary to make a claim for the insurance.

'Maitree' plies from Agartala to Dhaka on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while a Bangladeshi bus, 'Shyamali', shuttles on the rest of the days, except on Sundays.

Following the suspension, no bus would leave for Dhaka from here from Monday, but the service of 'Shyamali' would continue, TRTC sources said.

The authorities had to discontinue the service of 'Maitree' due to lack of spares as the only other spare bus was currently under repair, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the driver and his assistant of 'Maitree' returned here on Saturday and reported to the authorities that the passengers had reached their destinations on Friday with the help of local police, he said.

The driver and his assistant received minor injuries while the passengers were safe.

Maitree, with 12 Indians and 10 Bangladeshis on board, was torched in a case of mistaken identity during a political clash in the area, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran had informed Tripura Chief Secretary Sanjoy Kumar Panda.

The Agartala-Dhaka bus service started in September, 2003. Before that, the Kolkata-Dhaka bus service was introduced in July, 1999.


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