Hundreds of armed members of pirate gangs have been conducting robbery, murder and looting in coastal areas of Cox's Bazar
Forty-three pirates from six gangs have surrendered in Maheshkhali upazila of Cox's Bazar.
The pirates, from the coastal area of Maheshkhali and Kutubdia upazila, handed over at least 94 firearms and 7,637 bullets in a public gathering around 12pm on Saturday.
They surrendered at a rally organized by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at the Maheshkhali Adarsha High School, in the presence of Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal.
Among those who surrendered, 10 members from Maheshkhali's Anju Bahini gave up 24 firearms and 345 bullets, two from Romiz Bahini surrendered eight firearms and 120 bullets, six members from Nurul Alam alias Kalaboda Bahini handed over 23 firearms and 333 bullets, 15 members of Jalal Bahini gave up 29 firearms and 6,798 bullets, nine members from Ayub Bahini surrendered nine weapons and 37 bullets, and one from Alauddin Bahini gave up one weapon and four bullets.
Among them were an SMG, one British .34 revolver, two locally-made pistols, 52 locally made pipe guns, two locally-made double-barrel pipe guns, 19 single-shot guns, 15 three quarter and two .22 bore rifles.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said: "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given strict instructions to stop drug and weapons trade. Criminals are surrendering in every region of the country.
“We will provide these pirates with the opportunity to live a normal life according to the prevailing laws of the country."
The minister added: "There is still time for those who have not surrendered yet. Surrender quickly while there is time. If not, strict measures will be taken."
Hundreds of armed members of pirate gangs have been conducting robbery, murder and looting in coastal areas of Cox's Bazar.
RAB said numerous members of these pirate gangs were trying to return to their normal lives now after surrendering. This was the largest surrender of pirates since a similar surrender in the Sundarbans.
According to an anonymous source, the state will provide financial assistance to the family members of those who return to normal lives, to help them adapt to society.
RAB Director General (DG) Benazir Ahmed, Chittagong Divisional Police Officer Khandaker Golam Faruque, Cox's Bazar-2 Constituency MP Asheq Ullah Rafiq, Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Md Kamal Hossain, Police Superintendent ABM Masud Hossain, District Awami League Advocate Sirajul Mostofa and General Secretary Mujibur Rahman were present at the rally, among others.