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20 Bangladeshi fishermen picked up by Myanmar Navy released after 9 hours

  • Published at 08:56 am January 21st, 2021
File photo: Fishermen at a sea in Bangladesh Dhaka Tribune

They were reportedly beaten up in captivity

The Myanmar Navy on Wednesday afternoon released the 20 fishermen it had picked up earlier in the day after holding them for nine hours.

The fishermen were reportedly beaten up in captivity.

Nurul Amin, UP member of Ward-7 of Sabrang union, said the 20 fishermen returned to Paschimpara Ghat on Shahpari Island in Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf on Wednesday night.

“Twenty fishermen in four trawlers were in an area called Galachipa near St Martin's Island. Around 8am on Wednesday, [some members of] the Myanmar Navy suddenly went there and took them away.

“They were detained for nine hours and beaten. Three of their fishing nets were also seized. They were eventually released around 5pm.”

Shahpari Island Pashchim Para Ghat General Secretary Abdul Gafur said there were marks of injuries on the fishermen's bodies.

They were given first aid and taken to their respective houses, Gafur said, adding that all 20 fishermen are residents of Shahpari Island.

Dhaka Tribune was able to contact one of the fishermen on Thursday.

Shamsu Alam, 39, said: “While we were fishing in the Galachipa area in a foggy condition, the Myanmar Navy suddenly came and picked us up. They beat us up and snatched our fishing nets.”

“We were fishing inside Bangladesh territory,” he added. 

Lt Col Mohammad Foisol Khan, captain of BGB-2 battalion, said he was not informed about the detention of the Bangladeshi fishermen initially.

“I came to know about the abduction later through journalists. The leader of the fishermen in the Ghat area has told me that Myanmar released the fishermen on Wednesday evening and all of them are now at their homes,” he added.