Sources say the pirates usually demand a hefty ransom from the families of the fishermen they abduct
Fishermen in the Cox‚Äôs Bazar coastal area have been risking¬†their¬†lives every day to make an earning, as a rise in piracy in the Bay of Bengal¬†have led¬†to some 50 fishing trawlers being attacked and looted in the¬†last¬†15 days alone.
Fishermen and leaders of Cox‚Äôs¬†Bazar¬†Fisheryghat Mothso¬†Baboshayi¬†Somobai¬†Samity, a local cooperative, made the claim, adding that¬†robbers¬†had been looting fish and other valuables at gun point.
Pirates recently attacked 12 fishing trawlers in the deep-sea¬†and¬†injured many fishermen, 10 of whom remain missing, said leaders of the¬†cooperative.
Mostak Ahmed,¬†organisational¬†secretary of Cox‚Äôs¬†Bazar¬†district¬†Boat Malik Samity, said the Bay of Bengal was now under the control of¬†armed¬†robbers who attacked hundreds of fishermen every day.
Mostak¬†also blamed the local administration of failing to¬†take¬†necessary actions against the criminals.
Sources said around 30,000 fishermen in the area had been¬†passing¬†days¬†in¬†uncertainty, because the pirates grew more active during winter ‚Äì¬†the¬†prime fishing season.
Seeking anonymity, several fishermen said, around 15¬†pirate¬†gangs¬†were active from¬†Saint Martin channel¬†of Cox‚Äôs Bazar to Tablarchar point¬†of¬†the Sundarbans and Sonarchar point of Patuakhali district. Notorious robbers¬†like¬†Romiz, Harun, Baishya Nagu,¬†Jambu¬†and others led the gangs.
Sources said the pirates usually demand a hefty ransom¬†from¬†the¬†families of the fishermen they abduct. If any family failed to provide the¬†money, the criminals tied up the victim and threw them into the sea.
Tofayel¬†Ahmed, additional superintendent of police of the¬†district, said: ‚ÄúWe have a lack of infrastructure including speed boats¬†to¬†rescue¬†the victims. But law enforcers always try to maintain strict security.‚Äù
The fishermen said if the situation continued,¬†they¬†would be forced to quit their traditional profession.