Speakers at a human chain at Mongla yesterday demanded protection of the tigers' habitat Sundarbans and the Passur river.
They made the demand at the programme marking the World Tiger Day organised by Passur River Waterkeeper and Waterkeepers Bangladesh.
Mongla Government College Principal Mohammad Golam Sarwar said tigers frequently come out of the Sundarbans due to shortage of food and habitat and villagers kill them because of lack of awareness.
The number of tigers in the world is decreasing day by day, he said, adding that the International Union for Conservation of Tigers (IUCN) of the United Nations has already declared the tiger as an endangered animal.
In the last 18 years, 50 tigers were beaten to death in areas adjacent to the Sundarbans when they came out of the forest due to shortage of food, he said, adding that the apathy of the forest department towards protecting tigers is also to be blamed.
He said smugglers and national and international syndicates are largely responsible for the elimination of tigers.
A painting competition for children, titled "Royal Bengal Tiger of the Sundarbans," was held at the auditorium of Father Rigon's Library at Mongla Government College. Fifty students from different educational institutions participated in the competition. After a short speech, Chief Guest Begum Habibun Nahar MP distributed prizes and certificates among the participants of the children's painting competition.
Among others, Kamruzzaman Jasim, Professor Anwar Hossain, Shyama Prasad Sen, Pradip Adhikari, Lecturer Mahbubur Rahman, Lecturer Manoj Kanti Biswas, Lecturer Sahara Begum and Nigar Sultana Sumi spoke on the occasion.
A colourful rally, discussion and award distribution were also held on Mongla Government College premises.
Bagerhat Coordinator of Passur River Waterkeeper and Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) Md Noor Alam Sheikh chaired the rally.