12:00 AM, July 21, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Robber gangs at Sundarbans

Robber gangs at Sundarbans

Govt. must protect livelihood options

A large number of  people depending on the Sundarbans for their livelihood are being preyed on by bandits   on a regular basis for all sorts  extortions. Their tyrannical  strangle-hold  in  the area, thanks to pathological lack of  control  by the local administration , particularly the forest department , keeps  impoverishing the people and denying the government of revenues.
The honey collectors, fishermen, crab catchers and golpata traders  have to collect “forest permits” from the gangs' agents  to be able to operate their business. The so-called 'decoit expenses' is not even 'protection  money' demanded  by mafia , as  there is no guarantee  for  security to those  who had paid the thugs  in   the  Sunderbans. What's worse, new bahinis have sprung up so that a trader may end up paying  at more than one point. Refusal to pay may lead to abduction and demand for ransom money.
In the overall context of criminality and illicit business of all kinds, loggers and poachers, have to pay tolls to the bandits as well. Weak vigil and law enforcement interspersed with collusive corruption have virtually meant abdication of authority by the people in charge.
We suggest that the local administration including the police, forest department  and coast guards will have to put their heads together  for capacity building   and coordination at the operational level to stave off  organized crimes in the Sundarbans.


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