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700 Bangladesh fishermen take shelter in India

world Updated: Sep 25, 2007 23:24 IST

IANS
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Over 700 Bangladeshi fishermen aboard 50 trawlers, who were feared missing, have taken shelter in different coastal areas in West Bengal.

They cannot return to their trawlers because of high waves in the Bay of Bengal triggered by sudden storms, according to some of the fishermen who have reportedly contacted their companies.

The trawlers are anchored at Ketua in 24 Parganas district, and Naamkhana and Shankarpur of East Midnapore district, according to reports obtained here from the stranded fishermen.

Indian authorities have been considerate to the fishermen in view of the natural calamity which forced them to land in India.

"Neither the Indian Border Security Force nor police took any action against them on humanitarian grounds," The Daily Star newspaper quoted boatman Habibur Rahman, who took shelter at Naamkhana, as saying.

He also informed that Indian fishermen were assisting them by supplying food and providing security.

Khaleque Bepari, a stranded fisherman of a trawler named "FB Shahalam", informed its owner Monday that about 20 trawlers with around 280 fishermen aboard have taken shelter at Ketua.

He said they could not return home due to high waves in the Bay of Bengal.

Mohammad Ibrahim, another boatman, told his owner that about 30 trawlers took shelter at Shankarpur and Naamkhana.

Over 100 fishing trawlers with some 1,200 fishermen on board had gone missing in the Bay of Bengal since last Thursday.