Pirojpur fisheries department has started investigation in to the matter of collecting bribe allegedly by public representatives from the fishermen while distributing government allocated rice to the beneficiaries at Sikder Mollik union parishad (UP) premises in Sadar upazila on Monday.
Following a report published in The Daily Star on Tuesday, the matter came to the notice of the authorities concerned, Pirojpur District Fisheries Officer (DFO) Mosharraf Hossain said.
“After getting directives from the Barishal office, I asked upazila fisheries officer in Pirojpur Sadar upazila to investigate the matter and submit the report within a week,” DFO Mosharraf said.
Sadar Upazila Fisheries Officer Goutam Mondal said during primary investigation he has found the allegation of collecting money from the fishermen during the distribution of rice was true.
He will submit the probe report to the authorities concerned within the stipulated time, Goutam said.
During the distribution of the compensetion rice on Monday, Rafiq Howlader, UP member of ward No 5 under the union, collected Tk 90 to Tk 100 from each of the beneficiaries with the consent of Sikder Mollik UP Chairman Shahidul Islam, many fishermen alleged.
The government provides 160 kilogram of rice to each fisher family for four months, 40 kilogram per month, during the ban period of catching jatka, hilsa fry less than 10 inches long, from November 1 to June 30.
Under the programme, 259 fisher families from Sikder Mollik union have been enlisted for the compensation this year and each was given 120 kg of rice for three months.