Dhaka launches drive against piracy in Sundarbans

February 4th, 2010 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Feb 4 (IANS) Bangladesh has launched a special drive to check piracy in the Sundarbans and the coastal belt in the Bay of Bengal along India’s West Bengal state.
“Foreign fishermen who infiltrate… the Bay of Bengal falling within the jurisdiction of Bangladesh territorial waters are allegedly involved in looting fish and other belongings from Bangladeshi fishermen,” The Daily Star newspaper said Thursday.

Bangladesh Coast Guard, police and forest guards have launched the special drive named “Operation Sandhan”.

Bangladesh and India, which share the dense forests of Sundarbans that are home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, are currently in the process of negotiating their international maritime boundary.

The 710 km of coastal belt in Khulna and Bagherhat and the Sundarbans have been brought within the purview of the special operation, said a Coast Guard official coordinating the operation that started last Monday.

The main aim of the operation was to arrest pirates, recover their arms, curb their activities in the Sundarbans and the sea, stop infiltration of foreign fishermen and thus restore a sense of security in the area, said Lt. S.M. Waliur Rahman, chief coordinator of the operation.

Four pirates sustained bullet injuries as rival pirate gangs had an hour-long gunfight at Chalitabunia in Sharankhola upazila Tuesday morning, forest officials said.

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