It has been known that the start to their rehabilitation process is being delayed as both the government and non-government organisations who are supposed to carry out the process are still contemplating over how to implement it.
ASP Md Nizam Uddin, operation officer of RAB-8, said: “Different government and non-government organisations are undertaking multiple plans for the rehabilitation. But all stakeholders have not reached to any concrete decision so far. This process is taking time. Higher officials of the government are monitoring the whole process.”
A total of 92 sea robbers surrendered to a joint force made of RAB and Bangladesh Coast Guard officials between May 31, 2015 and January 29, 2017. The surrendered pirate groups are – Master Bahini, Majnu and Ilias Bahini, Shanto and Alam Bahini and Khokababu Bahini.
Major Adnan Kabir of RAB-8 said: “Law enforcement agencies are keeping an eye on the 45 sea robbers who are on bail now. They have not attempted any crime so far. None of them wants to get involved in any crime again, it seems.”
“Each of the sea robbers received Tk20,000 and necessary winter clothes from the home minister. It was not part of their promised rehabilitation process, but just a token gif,” he added.
Advocate Mominul Islam, coordinator of Bangladesh Manabadhikar Bastabayan Sangstha, told to the Dhaka Tribune: “NGOs should step up their efforts along with the government. The rest of the sea robbers at large might lose the surrendering mentality if the rehabilitation process is too delayed. We should free the surrendered sea robbers from jail as soon as possible so that others get influenced.”
Meanwhile, despite the surrender of top level sea robbers of Sundarbans kidnapping of fishermen is still going on in the forest, alleged local fishermen and Bawalis.
They said lastly on December 3, 20 fishermen kidnapped and 7 trawlers hijacked. Many pirate groups still exist in Sundarbans. The local fishermen and Bawalis asked for more operations of the joint force and expect that the number of hijacking will decrease in the water-land.
RAB officials said the crimes mostly take place during Ilish and Shutki seasons. The kidnappers collect ransom from the fishermen’s family after keeping them in hostile situation.