Anyone trying to commit any Sundarban’s robbery will be punished as the government will do everything to keep the mangrove forest safe, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal warned on Friday.
He spoke at a Sheik Helaluddin Stadium program celebrating a year since the Sundarban was declared free of robbers by Prime Minister Sheik Hasina.
For visitors and those relying on it, the Sundarban was a dangerous place, but it was made free from thieves and criminal gangs, he added.
“Sundarban is now a safe zone. Thousands of tourists go sightseeing while those who depend on the forest are working without being afraid of the robbers, “the minister said.
The world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarban is free of criminal gangs after the last remaining pirate gangs laid down arms; declared by PM Sheikh Hasina on November 1, 2018.
At that time, in Bagerhat, 58 pirates surrendered to the Home Minister.
It is important to discipline the criminals who are still trying to commit robberies, the minister said.
“We have information here about all the activities and we will bring everyone to justice,” he said. “It’s our promise to keep the Sundarban safe.” Also, the Home Minister warned the people who are patronizing the criminals.
Cases, except rape and murder, against criminal gangs, who had surrendered and reintegrated into society, will be dissolved gradually.
So far Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) has conducted 246 successful drives and arrested 586 criminals of various gangs in the Sundarban. Rab killed 163 pirates and seized 780 firearms and 41,955 bullets.
Nine Royal Bengal Tiger cubs, 23 tiger hides, 29 deer, 129 deer hides and various wild animals were recovered by Rab during the drives.
Rab, Police, Coast Guard, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Forest Department involved taskforce was established in 2012. Chief coordinator of the taskforce was the Rab Director General. Between May 31, 2016 and November 1, 2018, thirty-two former chiefs of criminal gangs and 328 members surrendered and they have been reintegrated into the society.