The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bangla trawlers trapped

Pathar Pratima, (South 24-Parganas), Dec. 18: Alert Indian fishing vessels last night trapped a dozen Bangladeshi trawlers operating in Indian waters near Kendu island and handed over the boats and at least a hundred fishermen in them to the police.

The trawlers were seized and the Bangladeshi fishermen were detained by the police near Sitarampur in Kendu for interrogation.

Last night, eight fishing vessels smelled something fishy when they noticed the trawlers on the prowl in the Bay of Bengal within Indian territory. They challenged them and on failing to get a satisfactory answer, surrounded the boats. The vessels hemmed in the Bangladeshis and kept the spotlights trained on them till they were shepherded to the police.

Dhirendra Nath Hazra, executive member of the Sundarbans United Fishermen and Fish Workers Association, said the trawlers were from Satkhira, Noakhali, Chittagong and other places in Bangladesh.

Fishermen in the area have become alert after seven Thai trawlers intruded into Indian waters in November and attacked Indian fishermen on being challenged.

Additional superintendent of police (rural) S.S. Panda said it will be probed how the Bangladeshis managed to enter Indian waters by eluding the Border Security Force and the Coast Guard.

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