Tripura elections hit India-Bangladesh trade
Agartala, Feb 14 : Elections in Tripura have hit the India-Bangladesh border trade as several trading points were shut by authorities for security reasons, officials said Thursday.
At the direction of the Election Commission, district officials have asked the Border Security Force and customs authorities to close the trade Thursday and Friday, a customs official told IANS.
The official said: "Many trucks were stranded on either side of the Akhaurah checkpost and other customs stations along the Bangladesh border with Tripura."
Habul Biswas, general secretary of the Agartala Exporters-Importers Association (AEIA), told reporters: "Traders of both Bangladesh and India will sustain huge losses."
Biswas said the closure of the border trade would enable hundreds of Indian workers to vote Thursday.
Situated adjacent to the heart of Agartala, the Akhaurah check post is the most important international trading land port in northeast India after the Petrapol-Banepole check post in West Bengal, 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 daily through the Akhaurah land customs station.
Border 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.