Body of fisherman found two days after attack by crocodile

The Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest .File Photo

Body of a fisherman has been found two days after it went missing being attacked by a crocodile at Shutarkhali river adjacent to the Sundarbans in Khulna.

The body was recovered from the river today, Thursday morning after almost 34 hours into the incident.

The victim, Khairul Islam Moral, 23, was dragged off by a crocodile while fishing at the Kalabagi forest station point of Shutarkhali river in the west Sundarbans around 7:00pm on Tuesday.

Khairul, son of Arshad Moral, is a resident from Kalabagi Jhulantapara Fokirkona area in Sutarkhali union under Dakop upazila.

Talking to local residents, it was found that Fakirkona is a remote island village of Kalabagi, the last human settlement on the south of Sutarkhali union. The rivers Sutarkhali, Bhodra and Shibsha flow by this village and the Sundarbans is on the opposite bank.

Fokirkona is also one of the closest human settlements adjacent to the Sundarbans. About three years ago, Fokirkona was detached from the mainland of Kalabagi. Innumerous elevated housings have sprouted side by side there on the river shoal in the completely detached island of Fokirkona.

There’s an arrangement of potable water or electricity. Villagers are dependent on the Sundarbans. They survive somehow on fishing in the river during the time when there’s a ban on entering the forest.

Locals said that Khairul along with one of his aunt was fishing with a cast net on the bank of Sutarkhali river on Tuesday evening. Khairul was throwing the net while his aunt Bulbuli was storing fish inside a pot. Out of the blue, a crocodile attacked Khairul and dragged him into the water.

People nearby came hearing the screams of Khairul’s aunt and started searching for him. At that time, the crocodile climbed onto the river shoal still having Khairul in its grip. When people tried freeing Khairul from the crocodile's clutch, the crocodile dived back into the water. The crocodile surfaced again after a while but Khairul was not seen then.

Local union parishad member Nimai Mondal told Prothom Alo, “Following the incident, at least 200 of the local residents searched the area on boats and trawlers. Due to the presence of so many people with trawlers and boats, the crocodile moved frantically on the water. At one point, when the crocodile was hit by an anchor, it raised its snout above the water.”

“Khairul wasn’t found anywhere at that time. Yet, local people stayed on guard. The body washed up in the river this morning. The only wound on his body was the bite marks near the waist and the thighs, where the crocodile had bitten him. The crocodile didn’t devour any part of the body,” he added.  

UP member Nimai also said that the Naval Police had been informed about the incident. The burial will be completed after the police arrive. There is no such space in Fakirkona to bury dead bodies. Khairul's body will be buried at their ancestral home in Kalabagi Nadbaks area.