Three policemen were suspended for carrying brood hilsa in Shariatpur yesterday, while 161 fishermen were jailed or fined for catching hilsa across the country defying a government ban.
The government has imposed a 22-day ban from October 9 on catching, selling, and transporting hilsa to ensure safe spawning during its peak breeding period.
The suspended policemen are Montu Hossain, assistant town sub-inspector, Sonjib Samaddar and Md Hridoy, constables of Shariatpur Police Lines.
The three were carrying around 200 brood hilsa on two motorbikes on Wednesday night. Locals caught them red-handed in front of Shariatpur Water Development office around 10:30pm, said Biswajit Boiragi, district fisheries officer in Shariatpur.
On information, superintendent of Shariatpur police Abdul Momen and other administrative officials rushed there. Later, the SP suspended the policemen, said Sirajul Islam, reserve inspector of Shariatpur Police Lines, adding that departmental action would be taken against them after probe.
Meanwhile, mobile courts assisted by river police jailed or fined 161 fishermen for catching hilsa in rivers across the country.
Of them, 131 fishermen were given different jail terms, while 30 others were fined Tk 1.38 lakh, BM Harun-Ar-Rashid, superintendent (crime and operations) of river police, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Around 22.68 lakh metres of illegal fishing nets, 45 boats, seven trawlers, and 1,389kg of hilsa were seized during the drives.
The nets were burnt and the fish were distributed among the poor, the police officer said.
The fisheries and livestock ministry, river police, and local administrations are conducing drives across the country.
In Munshiganj, mobile courts gave jail terms to 57 fishermen for catching brood hilsa in Lauhojong and Sreenagar upazilas, while 11 others, including seven women, were fined Tk 24,000 for possessing hilsa in Sirajdikhan upazila.
In Tangail, two mobile courts in separate incidents jailed 12 fishermen for 15 days and fined nine others Tk 31,500 for netting hilsa in the Jamuna river in Sadar and Bhuapur upazilas.
Our Faridpur, Munshiganj, and Tangail correspondents contributed to this report.