Criminals torch betel leaf garden
Criminals torched betel leaves on four bighas at village Khalishkhali in Tala upazila in broad daylight yesterday.
Betel leaves worth Tk 10 lakh were completely destroyed by the devastating fire, farmers and witnesses said.
The criminals entered the betel leaf garden owned by Devabrata Pal, son of Dina Bandhu Pal of village Khalishkhali at about 2:00pm and set it afire.
On information, fire fighters from Satkhira reached the spot after 40 minutes of the incident and extinguished the fire with the help of locals, said villager Rabindra Nath Pal.
Contacted, Devabrata Pal said, a group of local musclemen torched his betel leaf plantation over previous enmity.
He said he took Taka one lakh loan from a commercial bank and a non-government organisation (NGO) to cultivate betel leaves.
"How shall I repay the loan," said a weeping Devabrata. "I have no other means to maintain my family," he said.
Patkelghata police station officer in charge (OC) said police are trying to nab the culprits.
In the last few weeks, several other betel leaf gardens were allegedly torched by criminals in the district of Jhenidah.