At least 250 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Railway Sramik League travelled to Dhaka without paying train fares to attend a biannual conference of its central committee.
On October 2, Joint General Secretary of the Railway Sramik League Lokman Hossain along with his affiliates made the round-trip from Chattogram to attend the conference.
They went to Dhaka from Chattogram by booking four bogies of Chattogram mail train and returned Chattogram the next day riding three bogies without paying a single penny for the trip.
The incident came to light when a report, signed by Chattogram Railway Master Md Mahbubur Rahman, was sent to the Divisional Manager of Bangladesh Railway, Chattogram on October 9.
Lokman Hossain, also a former rail official, said, "I booked the bogies through an application. We travelled on our train pass. So, why we have to pay for it?"
"Besides, the leaders and activists who travelled with me were railway staffs."
According to the rules of Bangladesh Railway, passengers cannot travel without paying the fare and must show their tickets before travelling.
Railway authorities confirmed that Lokman did not follow the rule.
Deputy Chief Commercial Manage of Railway (East) Goutam Kumar Kundu told The Business Standard, "There is a provision of payment before travelling. There is no way to travel free."
On October 15, Department of Railway Manager Borhan Uddin sent a letter to the Eastern Zone Office of the General Manager to take necessary actions against Lokman and other leaders and activists of Railway Sramik League for travelling without fare.
There is no chance of travelling without fare in the name of the pass, said Goutom Barua Kundu, deputy chief commercial manager Bangladesh Railway (East Zone).
The pass cannot be issued more than ten percent of the seats for each bogie, he added.