42 prisoners have not been found in 10 months, relatives are worried

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Md.Mamun Hossain

Charfassion (Bhola) Correspondent

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Eati Akter

News Desk

About 50,000 fishermen of Charfassion upazila of Bhola make a living by hunting fish in trawlers in the Bay of Bengal.  But there is no safety equipment for fishermen.  As a result, the number of deaths due to natural disasters at sea is increasing every year.
It is alleged that trawlers and boat owners send fishermen to the sea in the hope of higher profits amid government restrictions or hostile weather conditions.  Many times the owners are not found next to the bodies of missing or dead prisoners who risk their lives due to accidents due to the greed of the owners.  Ignoring the 65-day ban on fishing this year, the Jahangir Majhir trawler of Charfassion Samraj Ghat sank on June 25, along with 13 Majhimallas.
It was only then that the allegations of negligence came to light.  After this incident Jahangir Majhi and his son Abdul Gani were rescued alive by the fishermen. Then on June 28, 4 other fishermen named Zakir, Rafiqul Islam, Anwar and Zakir were rescued alive from the sea.  After 6 days of this incident, Sharif, Mohammad Harun, Abdus Sattar Howladar, Fazle Karim, Noor Islam disappeared from the three char areas of the sea. The bodies of Shihab and Rahim Majhi were recovered by the relatives.
All their homes are in Bhola Charfassion.  The family complained of non-cooperation of the trawler and boat owners, and due to lack of necessary fuel and trawler, rescue operations could not be carried out immediately after the accident.
Nur Islam’s brother Md.  Rafiq complained that after getting the news of the accident, the owner Zainal Miah promised to cooperate with the trawler but did not do so in the end.  If a rescue operation was carried out at that time, everyone would have been found alive.
Siraj, uncle of deceased Shihab, said that Artaddar has been talking about providing fuel oil for two days.  Later, rescue operations were carried out in the sea with the help of various fishermen and trawlers, and the bodies of 5 people were recovered after five days.  Rahim Majhi’s son Milon is complaining that he did not get any support from the local administration.
Nusrat Begum, the wife of the missing Monir sailor, said that the owner pushed them to death in the name of fishing in the sea under the ban.  He also threatened not to disclose the accident.
He also said that neither the government nor the owners took any action to find the missing persons.  Even though these families are in need since the accident, no one has looked for them.  Taiyab, Kabir and Abul Kashem of Nangla Pata village of Char Fashion Char Karmira Union were in Monir Majhi’s trawler.  They were the sole breadwinners of the family. Their absence brought the family into extreme poverty.
Abul Kashem’s brother Mizan complained that they are now destitute due to the greed of the owners.  If you go to the sea and die, you get no justice or help.
The trawler driver of the same area, Majhi Nurul Islam, survived the attack of Sitrang.  He said, within the ban, the concerned department has been managed and the trawler has been sent to the sea.  Many fishermen are forced to go to sea at risk due to taking money from moneylenders.
Charfassion upazila President of Bangladesh Small Fishermen Association.  Sohag said that due to the greed of the owners, the cases of fishermen being buried in the sea are increasing.  Neither the government nor the owners come forward to ease the plight of the fishermen’s families who drowned in the sea.
Charfassion upazila senior fisheries officer.  Maruf Hossain Minar said that there are no vehicles to go to the sea to rescue the fishermen.  However, awareness as well as enforcement of laws will be enforced to ensure the safety of fishermen and avoid accidents.

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Md.Mamun Hossain

Charfassion (Bhola) Correspondent

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