Local Awami League men allegedly swooped on three Dhaka-bound hilsa-laden trucks and looted Tk 74,500 from the truckers and helpers at Sheikh Kalmal Bridge's toll plaza on Kalapara-Kuakata road in Kalapara upazila headquarters on Wednesday.
Five people were also injured in the attack. They are drivers Md Salim, 35, and Md Jamal, 30, and their helpers Liton, 35, Al Amin, 23 and Jewel, 23.
Of them, Jewel was admitted to Kalapara Upazila Health Complex while the rest were given first aid at the hospital.
The incident spread panic among the local fish traders.
Wishing anonymity, a toll collector said a gang of 15 allegedly led by local AL cadres Mozammel and Nazrul attacked the fish-laden trucks on Wednesday when the vehicles were crossing the toll plaza.
The attackers beat up the drivers and helpers and looted the money from them. They also damaged the packets of hilsa.
After taking treatment, the truckers and helpers later left the spot for Dhaka with their vehicles.
Md Yusuf, fish trader of Alipur fish landing station, said he was sending hilsa to Dhaka from Alipur by a truck but attackers swooped on it.
They are very panicked after the incident, he said.
Another fish trader of the same area said both Alipur and Mohipur are fish landing stations near Kuakata beach and a huge quantity of hilsa fish is exported from there every year but they are now under fear after the attack.
Yousuf said he did not file a case in this connection as local UP Chairman Ansar Uddin Mollah, also president of Alipur Fish Traders' Association, assured him of taking care of the matter.
Md Jahangir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Kalapara Police Station, said action will be taken against the attackers after filing of a case but none came to lodge case as of filing of this report around 7:00pm yesterday.
Local people said both Mozammel and Nazrul of Badurtali area in Kalapara upazila are active cadres of the ruling party.
This correspondent tried to communicate with Mozammel and Nazrul over their cellphones but they did not receive calls.
Bipul Hawlader, president of Kalapara municipality unit of AL, said he did not know Mozammel and Nazrul.
They are not involved in their party activities, said Bipul, also mayor of the municipality.