Fishing in Deepor Beel:Ambition beats prohibition

Traditiol ‘aska’ is the buzzword among sellers and buyers of fish at Azara Godhuli Bazar and the bazar on the bank of Deepor Beel

From our Correspondent

AZARA, Jan 8: It is rightly said that ‘all is fish that comes to his net’. Despite the promulgation of Section 144 CrPC in the Deepor Beel in the city from January 2 to 31 by the West Guwahati DCP, the fishermen community living around the area today fished around four quintals of fish from the UNESCO Ramsar Site today, that too, without violating the prohibitory order. This incident has proved yet again that no power can prevent the folk from celebrating their folk festival – here fishing by fishermen in the run-up to the Magh Bihu.

It was a perfect blend of fear and festivity in Deepor Beel today, with baton-wielding the police personnel watching any violation of the prohibitory order. It was really an adreline rush for many, including the fishermen as they were fishing in the face of the prohibitory order.

As the folk culture goes in the fishermen community, they can defy all odds to fish in Deepor Beel in the run-up to the Magh Bihu. The prohibitory order that has been underway since January 2 and to continue till January 31 has created a hue and cry among the fishermen in the area as many of them make their ends meet by fishing in the Beel. However, braving the situation they are confronting now, the Deepor Beel Panchpara Samabai Samiti (DBPSS), a cooperative society of fishermen in the area, took the decision to fish today in the areas that fall outside the area covered by the prohibitory order. As the tradition goes, the community folk performed their mandatory worshipping of the Beel last night (the penultimate night of fishing) by offering an oblation. And they fished in the Beel today.

DBPSS secretary Pradip Das said: “We’ve fished in Deepor Beel without violating the prohibitory order that doesn’t cover the entire Beel. We’ve fished in areas lying outside the area covered by 144 CrPC.”

However, despite such a claim from Das, there are reports of seizure of a large number of nets and other fishing equipments by the police from fishermen fishing in the prohibited area in the Beel.

The bank of Deepor Beel looked like a mela today with people crowding there to buy fish or just for amusement.

The fish caught today are on display mainly at two markets where only the traditiol ‘aska’ (selling or buying fish without weighing) is the buzzword. People now buy fish in a market on the bank of Deepor Beel itself and Azara Godhuli Bazar the fish in whole, without weighing or cutting it.

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