86 Indians walk back to home from Pakistan

Lahore, Oct 13 (IANS) Eighty-six passengers of the Samjhauta Express made their way home by crossing the Wagah border on foot on Monday after the train was refused entry into India due to a farmers’ agitation in Punjab, media report said.

According to Pakistan Railways, the Samjhauta Express left the Lahore railway station as scheduled with 86 passengers, including 25 women and 10 children, but was refused entry by the Indian railway authorities.

“After the Indian authorities did not accept the train into their territory, it returned to Lahore on October 8 and since then, these passengers have either stayed at the railway station or at nearby hotels,” Pakistan Railways’ Lahore Divisional Transportation Officer Shujat Hussain told Dawn.

He said since the train scheduled for departure to India from Lahore only left on Mondays and Thursdays at 10.30 a.m., passengers started arriving at the station early on Monday morning.

“But when we contacted the Indian authorities, they refused to accept the train due to the deteriorating law and order situation there,” he added.

Hussain said officials from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had contacted Pakistan Railways through the ministry of foreign affairs on Sunday about the status of their nationals.

He claimed that officials from the high commission, after reaching Lahore, informed the railways that the train might not enter India on Monday due to the law and order situation in Punjab.

“In the meantime, we arranged transport to shift all passengers and their luggage to Wagah from where they entered their country by crossing the border on foot,” he explained.

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