10 Indian fishermen returned, 5 Bangladeshis not sent back
Local administrations yesterday handed over the 10 Indian fishermen, rescued from the clutches of robbers in the Sundarbans on February 3, to Indian High Commission officials.
Dr Mizanur Rahman, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) said that they handed over the Indian nationals along with their trawler to RK Rakhi, protocol and welfare officer of the Indian High Commission on completion of legal procedures.
Later, the 10 fishermen returned home in the trawler.
Mihir Kumar Do, divisional officer of Sundarbans east zone said that a joint team of coastguard members and forest officials rescued the 10 Indian fishermen from a char on the Shela River of the Sundarbans, after a gang of robbers (Gama Bahini) left them there on February 3.
Earlier, the forest officials found the trawler, 'FB Tara Ma' in an abandoned condition at Chhapra Khali Char in the Sundarbans on January 29.
Sources said, the members of 'Gama Bahini' kidnapped the Indian fishermen along with the trawler on January 26 when they entered the Bangladesh waters.
Mihir Kumar said the gang also attacked a group of Bangladeshi fishermen on the day while fishing in the sea.
“As the gang started firing shots on the trawler indiscriminately, some of the fishermen jumped into the sea,” he said.
Later, he said, Indian fishermen rescued five of the Bangladeshi fishermen and took them to hospital.
On information, police rushed to the hospital and took all the rescued fishermen into custody. They later filed two criminal cases against them.
The Bangladeshi fishermen are Zakir Hossain Khan of Swarankhola upazila in Bagerhat, Golam Mostafa and Nurul Islam of Mathbaria upazila in Pirojpur, Bishnu Prashad and Hiru Khan of Patharghata upazila in Barguna district. They were admitted to a hospital in South 24 Pargana of India with critical bullet wounds on January 26.
Barguna District Trawler Owners' Association president Golam Mostafa Chowdhury urged the government to take immediate steps to ensure release of the five Bangladeshi fishermen.