Another fisherman went missing after being attacked by a tiger in Sundarban tiger reserve in West Bengal. The fisherman who went missing while fishing in the river creek area of Pakhiralaya forest in Gosaba block on Wednesday morning was identified as Haripada Mandal (32).
According to local sources, Haripada Mandal, a fisherman from Lenin Colony, Kumirmari, used to go to the Sundarbans every day to catch fish and crabs. Also on Wednesday morning, with three neighbours in a boat entered the creek to catch fish and crabs. After that, Haripada was tying a boat in the forest and working on net setting with his companions. Unbeknownst to everyone, a tiger came out of the deep forest. The tiger jumped from behind the boat and landed on Haripada Mandal. Then in one fell swoop tiger took him in his mouth and vanished in the deep forest.
Haripadar’s companions were shocked to see such an incident in front of their own eyes. Later they came back to the village and gave this bad news. Family members of the missing fisherman broke down in tears.
Fishermen are being attacked by tigers every day while fishing for crabs in the Sundarbans. Several people have died in tiger attacks in the last few months. The number of missing is also increasing. The forest department claims that there has been numerous dangers of catching crabs in a forbidden place. Officials of the forest department said that despite repeated request for not fishing in the restricted areas, a class of fishermen is going to catch fish and crabs in these areas in defiance of the ban. As a result, the death toll by tiger attacks is on the rise.
On April 20, Rathin Sarkar, a resident of Jamespur, went to catch crabs in the Sundarbans. He was picked up by a tiger from the boat. Nabin Sarkar, a resident of Chhota Mollakhali, was killed in a tiger attack on April 28 while collecting honey in the Sundarbans forest. Sujit Mandal, a resident of Chargheri in Lahiripur gram panchayat of Gosaba block, died on April 29 while trying to catch crabs in Jhila forest No. 5 of Sundarbans. On 13 June, four fishermen from the village of Dakshin Durgapur in the Deulbari gram panchayat of Kultali went to the river mouth of the Chituri forest in the Sundarbans to catch fish. The Ghostho Nair was killed in a tiger attack there. On July 19, Prafulla Sardar, a resident of Kaikhali village No. 5 of Gopalganj gram panchayat in Kultali police station, died in a tiger attack while catching crabs in the Sundarbans forest. On 28 July, Dharani Mandal of Kumirmari village was killed by a tiger. On August 2, Sushant Mandal alias Ranga, 58, of Lahiripur gram panchayat in Gosaba block, was killed by a tiger. On August 12, Haripada Mandal, 45, a resident of Bali No. 9 in Gosabar, was killed by a tiger while fishing in the Sundarbans. On September 3, Baburam Raptan (32) was attacked by a tiger while fishing in the Chilmari canal near the Marichjhampi forest in the Sundarbans. On September 4, Munna alias Rezaul Gazir, 32, a resident of North 24 Parganas, was attacked by a tiger while trying to catch a crab in Jhila No. 4 forest in the Sundarbans. Fisherman Gopal Vaidya (54), a resident of Thakuruntala Colony in Satjelia area of Gosaba block, was killed in a tiger attack in Jhila No. 6 forest on September 6.
Expressing grief over the death of a fisherman in another tiger attack on Wednesday, Shambhu Saha, president of the Canning subdivision of the Sundarbans Fishermen’s Protection Committee, said, “The incident is very tragic. The death toll from tiger attacks in the Sundarbans continues to rise. Poor fishermen have to look for alternative livelihoods so that they do not go to the Sundarbans to catch fish and crabs at the risk of their dear lives. Only then will such incidents decrease. “