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.