A train carries people to Moradabad and back once a day. There are no tracks beyond Sambhal. The counter looks unused, children use tracks to play and the station is a temporary shelter for the homeless and cattle.
While there is trepidation about a Narendra Modi-led government among most Muslims in western UP, in Sambhal, the railway station and other infrastructure matter more. They want more trains, better schools, a well-equipped hospital and tarred roads and a propere district headquarters.
“Sambhal once had many trains but now there is only one. This is a business town that depends on movement of goods. Without rail connectivity, we are forced to use road transport,” said Imran Khan, a supplier of the bone and horn handicraft Sambhal is famous for.