Farmers resist saline water based shrimp farming
Farmers in Mongla upazila have vowed to resist shrimp cultivation by using saline water in croplands.
Hundreds of men and women of Kainmari, Chakrakhali, Kalibari, Dasherkhando and Kanainagar villages of Chandpai union continued movement for the second day yesterday and prevented shrimp enclosure owners from releasing saline water into the paddy fields through sluice gates.
Also on Saturday, hundreds of farmers of these villages foiled an attempt to release saline water into their fields with help of hired goons.
Meanwhile, security has have been stepped up at several villages of Chandpai union under Mongla upazila in Bagerhat district fearing bloody clashes any moment between farmers and owners of shrimp enclosures.
According to Vice Chairman of Mongla Upazila Parishad Mohammad Noor Alam, the owners of shrimp enclosures have hired goons to release saline water into the fields in the aforesaid villages defying the call by local lawmaker Begum Habibun Nahar to refrain from using force.
The hired goons on Saturday noon cut the dam of Kainmari Canal to forcibly release saline water into a field.
"The farmers have vowed to resist the hired goons. So the situation in these villages have become highly tense," said OC Feroze Ahmed at Mongla Police Station.
Shubhash Mandol, Gurudas Dakua, Niva Halder and Alta Bagchi of Kalikabari village told this correspondent yesterday that release of saline water in the fields has become a big threat to their livelihood. Because it damages fertility of the fields, they pointed out.
Mongla Upazila Chairman Md Iddris Ali Ijardar said anti-salinity movement is gaining momentum as farmers are now more aware about the evils of saline water-based shrimp cultivation.
Meanwhile lawmaker Habibun Nahar warned that any ill motive against the greater interest of the people would be severely dealt with.
She said this as some owners were reportedly still planning to use force and dismantle the sluice gates with the help of hired goons.
Hundreds of villagers were guarding sluice gates and shrimp enclosures of Mongla villages since start of their current protest on Saturday.