Seeking justice for local hindu fishers in Bangladesh

On Saturday 21 March 2020, a local Influential person Mohammed Mahbub Sana [one of his relative is a local MP] and his group tried to grab a 220 acres of fishing area lawfully owned by the Hindu Fishermens in Daluti village, Daluti union number -04, Paikgacha Upazila, Khulna, Bangladesh. They threaten the Hindu female fishermen who were catching fish in the water body. Suddenly, Mohammed Mahbub Sana and his group members started to beat the Hindu female fishermen and brutally injured them. The female resisted and shouted for help.  The local Hindu men and women from the closeby area ran to the incident site and captured 7 people who came with Mohammed Mahbub Sana. 

A total of 35 Hindu Fishermans live in this area. These fishermens claimed that they have been working in the 220 acres of fishing area since 1710. According to the fishermens, Mohammed Muztafa Sarkar, namely a local Islamic Jamaat Shibbir Party leader, made a false paper and claimed that he had bought the 220 acres of fishing area  from them in 1969 [the person who signed the contract did not belong to the group living or owning the area]. 

Local Hindu men and women who ran to the incident site and captured seven perpretrators.

In 2013, Mohammed Muztafa Sarkar and his group attacked the Hindu Fishermens who were lawfully working in the fishing area. The fishermens claimed that they were brutally beaten and two of their women were raped. Furthermore, they also looted all their belongings and threatened them to be thrown out of the country. The fishermen reported the incident to the local police and filed a case against Mohammed Muztafa Sarkar and his group. But, the local police did not take any firm actions against the violators. Mohammed Muztafa is the father in-law of the local MP Mohammed Aktaruzzaman Babu and he used his son in law’s political power to influence the police procedures. 

Mr Rabin Sarkar – a local Hindu leader of Hindu requested the local police to help the poor fishermens. Few police officers came and took seven persons into their custody: Mohammad Rahmat Sana, Mohammed Mahbub Sana, Mohammed Hafizur Sana and other four group members. Unfortunately, the police officers in charge Mr. Mohammed Izzat Safi, who has good links with Mohammed Muztafa and the local MP Mohammed Aktaruzzaman Babu, released all the violators on the same day. 

Research and Empowerment Organisation (REO) is trying to provide justice to these fishermens with the help of local advocate Ameresh Gain and Local leader Rabin Sarkar. The case has been filed and the local police will try to re-investigate on the issue. The REO and the local advocate will also discuss the issue with the regional ministers.