Sixteen fishermen jailed, 17 arrested
A mobile court jailed 16 fishermen for one year each in Sujanagar upazila of Pabna on the charge of catching hilsa from the river Padma yesterday during the ongoing ban period.
With this, some 34 fishermen of the upazila were convicted in a week for defying the 22-day government ban starting on October 12.
Sujanagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Shakhawat Hossain, who led the mobile court, said the drives were conducted at different points -- including Char Sujanagar, Maniknagar, Satbaria and Najirganj.
It also seized 100kg of hilsa and 30,000 metres of nets, used for catching the fish, worth Tk 4 lakh from their possession, he said.
The nets were burnt instantly and the fishes were distributed among the orphans.
Meanwhile, the fishermen in the area are presently suffering due to a lack of aid from the government, the fishermen said.
“Over 500 fishermen make living from catching hilsa in the upazila,” they said.
Shakhawat told The Daily Star that the government's food aid programme for the fishermen is mostly for the southern districts.
“There is no allotment for the fishermen in Sujanagr upazila. We've already informed the ministry concerned of the matter,” he said.
UNB from Bhola adds, a joint team of coastguards and the fisheries department arrested 17 fishermen in two trawlers in the Meghna river in Tulatuli area of Sadar upazila yesterday on the same charge.
Asaduzzaman, senior fishery officer of the Department of Fisheries of the upazila, said the joint team conducted drives in Kachia, Kathir Matha and Bholar Khal areas.
The team also seized 20kg of hilsa, the two trawlers and 10,000 metres of current nets.
The arrestees will be produced before a mobile court, said the official.