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PMO push for punishment of Jambu guards

Calcutta, Dec. 13: The Prime Minister’s Office today asked chief secretary Sourin Roy to file a report on the steps taken by the state to punish those responsible for the deaths of fishermen who were driven away into the rough seas by forest guards at Jambudwip during a recent cyclone.

The gale lashed the coasts and brushed past the state on November 12. When the fishermen in distress entered a creek adjoining the island for shelter, they were driven by the armed guards into the turbulent river mouth. Consequently, two boats capsized, killing two fishermen. Another 10 are still missing.

The “inhuman” behaviour of the guards led to an uproar and protest letters from across the world poured into the PMO.

Andrew Johnston, the chief of the Artisonal Fisheries Association, South Africa, Wendy Tyndale of UK’s World Faiths Development Dialogue, M.F. Ferrari, Wetland Forest People’s Coordinator in the US and the chief of the Community Based Resources Management in Canada were among the many who condemned the “brutal incident” and sought Central intervention. Fisheries minister Kiranmoy Nanda had earlier ordered an inquiry.

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