Gujarat to destroy ‘illegal’ shrimp farms

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Government has initiated a move to declare the entire Aliya Bet in Hansot taluka, Broach, as a prohibited area and destroy “illegal” shrimp farms.

Manas Dasgupta

Ahmedabad, January 31

The Gujarat Government has initiated a move to declare the entire Aliya Bet in Hansot taluka, Broach, as a prohibited area and destroy “illegal” shrimp farms.
Police personnel recently pressed JCBs and bulldozers into service for burying ponds and other water bodies in Aliya Bet where some alleged anti-social elements, most of them belonging to minority communities, from the neighbouring Ankleshwar taluka were illegally cultivating shrimp. Most of these water bodies were located on the government waste lands in coastal areas.
The alleged illegal shrimp farming at Aliya Bet in Broach district in central Gujarat was said to be the cause of the recent communal disturbances in Ankleshwar. The tension sparked following a group clash over kite flying on Makar Sankranti (January 14). Three persons, including two activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), were killed and over 12 others injured in the clash.
Similar allegations were levelled earlier also that the people involved in the illegal shrimp farming in Aliya Bet had fomented the communal disturbances in the region after taking the local police under their influence.
More than 200 local BJP leaders and workers, including the Ankleshwar municipal president, the Ankleshwar taluka BJP president and the party’s youth wing president, had resigned accusing the state government of remaining a silent spectator to their problems.
They stated while the people in Ankleshwar were demanding steps to curb activities of illegal shrimp breeders, the local police were not paying heed to their pleas.

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