Gopalpur upazila administration on Monday recovered a government owned waterbody from illegal occupation by a local Awami League (AL) leader.
Abul Hossain, former president of Nagda Shimla union unit of AL, occupied a six-acre area of Kaicha Beel, a waterbody in Jagannathbari Mouja of Gopalpur, several years ago and continued fish cultivation there, upazila administration sources said.
To take control of the waterbody, the upazila administration demarcated it with red flags six months ago, they said.
Officials also directed Abul Hossain to catch and take away all his fish from the waterbody by one month and not to cultivate fish there further but the latter ignored the directive.
Following instructions from the district administration, Gopalpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Bikash Biswas and Assistant Commissioner (Land) Reza Masum Prodhan along with a police team went to the spot on Monday.
They arranged netting the fish of the waterbody by local fishermen and brought the fish to the local union parishad (UP) premises by a truck.
They handed over the fish to the authorities of all the 19 orphanages in the upazila and suggested arranging feast for the orphans with the fish, officials said.
Besides upazila officials, M Hossain Ali, chairman of Nagda Shimla UP, Zoynal Abedin, president of Gopalpur Press Club, were present during the fish distribution.
Bulbul Miah, a resident of Mazidpur Orphanage, said they got about 60 kg of different fish including carps and pangas.
UNO Bikash Biswas said, “We have taken control of the government owned waterbody that remained under illegal occupation for years. The netted fish was distributed among the local orphans following rules.”