Defying court order, local influential people are illegally fishing in Gutaura Haorkhal, a water body under Hakaluki Haor in Barlekha upazila.
Saheb Uddin, general secretary of Sonarbangla Freedom Fighters and Freedom Fighters' Children Fishermen Cooperative Samity, yesterday filed a complaint to the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) against Madhabkunda Fisheries Cooperative Samity and Pankauri Fishermen Cooperative Samity in this regard.
In September, District Jalmahal Management Committee recommended the land ministry to lease the water body to Sonarbangla Freedom Fighters and Freedom Fighters' Children Fishermen Cooperative Samity for five years at a cost of Tk 72.45 lakh, said Saheb.
But the ministry later issued the lease order to Pankauri Fishermen Cooperative Samity, which has no fisherman member, Saheb said, adding that they later filed a writ petition with the High Court against Pankauri Fishermen Cooperative Samity over the lease agreement.
Later, the court canceled the lease order, but the samity continued looting fish from the water body with the help of some local influential persons, said Saheb.
Saheb further added that the ministry in October issued an order to lease the water body to Madhabkunda Fisheries Cooperative Samity for five years.
They filed a writ petition with the Supreme Court against the lease order. Later, the court imposed a ban on catching fish in the water body. Meanwhile, Madhabkunda Fishery Cooperative Samity filed a leave-to-appeal case with the Supreme Court which is now under trial.
But, Salam Uddin, president of Madhabkunda Fisheries Cooperative Samity, started fishing in the water body with the help of a gang, led by some local influential people, from the first week of November and sold the fish for Tk 2 to Tk 3 lakh every day, said Saheb.
Salam Uddin said they are not fishing. They are actually guarding the haor. Protecting public resources is not a crime, he said.
UNO Md Suhel Mahmud said he received complaint from Saheb Uddin and asked the assistant commissioner (land) to submit report after investigation.