The hullabaloo over the formalin-laced imported fish in Assam is seemingly over. Production of local fish is being encouraged. And police ‘killed’ 52,000 fishlings at Sidli on Monday. The reason — the vehicle driver failed to bribe the police.
The incident took place at Sidli in Chirang district of Assam. One Abdul Rajjak, a supplier of fishlings at Jagiroad, brought the fishlings from Kolkata.
Narrating the incident over the telephone from Jagiroad, Rajjak said that when the vehicle stopped at Sidli for changing the water in which fishlings were transshipped, police allegedly demanded Rs 10,000 from the driver.
“The driver expressed his inability to pay that amount and instead offered the police an amount for ‘tea and snacks’. The police personnel then started beating the driver, handyman and the helper of the vehicle and took them inside the police station,” Rajjak told Northeast Now.
“It was almost three hours that police detained the vehicle. By that time the fishlings started dying-off because of oxygen depletion,” Rajjak added.
Later the vehicle was released by the police that too only after taking Rs 2,500. But all the fishlings died-off when they reached Baihata Chariali.
Rajjak informed that he had bought the fishlings at a price of around Rs 2.70 lakh. “I supply these to fish producers. But Monday’s incident is a great blow to my business. I don’t know how to recover from this loss,” an exasperated Rajjak said.
On August 13, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal called on the new appointees of Fishery department to spend a night with the fishermen and the fish producers for understanding their difficulties and challenges. This type of incident of police atrocities is probably one of the challenges or difficulties of the fish producers that the new recruits of fishery department will have to understand.