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Samjhauta Express resumes

New Delhi:The Samjhauta Express, which was suspended last week following farmers’ protest in Punjab, has resumed, the External Affairs Ministry said today.

“The Samjhauta Express resumed yesterday from Delhi and is scheduled to run from Lahore,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said here.

He said that 83 Indians, who were stranded in Lahore, were brought to the Wagah border over the weekend by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

“Similarly, 33 Pakistani nationals who were stranded in Delhi, about whom the Pakistan High Commission had informed us, were sent by Delhi-Lahore bus on Government of India expense on October 13 and 14,” he said.

Some 200 people were coming to India by Samjhauta Express last Thursday when it was stopped at the Wagah Border by the authorities who cited potential security risks due to protests by farmers.

The train then returned to the Lahore Railway Station and the Pakistani authorities provided stay to the passengers at the station and adjacent hotels.

Besides Samjhauta Express, several trains like New Delhi- Amritsar Shatabadi were also affected due to the continued agitation by the farmers who had blocked the rail route between Delhi-Amritsar.

The farmers were protesting against Punjab government’s response to the whitefly attack on the cotton crop in the Malwa belt which led to over 60 per cent of the crop being damaged and losses of farmers running into hundreds of crores.