Fishing cat victim of people’s ferocity

The fishing used to roam around in search of food in the village. But little did it know the trap lurking in the shadows set up by the angry locals at Kathuria union of Baskhali upazila in Chattogram.

Hundreds locals of Bagmara village of Kathuria union chased the fishing cat for an hours, netted it and mercilessly beat to death on Wednesday evening allegedly led by a public representative.

Witnesses said on condition of anonymity that the fishing cat was 3.5 feet in length while its height was around 2.5 feet, biggest one they have seen so far.

They also said the union parishad member who allegedly led the angry mobs to beat it could have handed over the cat to forest department, rather he chose to kill it involving the youths.

Contacted Ahmed Hossain, member of Kathuria union parishad asked the The Daily Star reporter to investigate the matter on spot and refused to talk in this regard.

Later he called back this correspondent and claimed the incident did not happen within his areas.

Joynal Abedin, former chairman of Kathuria union told The Daily Star that at least hundred locals chased the cat, caught it and lynched it to death.

“For the last one and half month, this cat was attacking livestock of the villagers making them angry. They spotted the cat and killed it”, he said.

He also refused to say who led the incident to go this far.

Forest department’s apathy

Few locals sympathized to animals of the area claimed that they informed the loal forest officials of the incident but they did not show until Friday.

Contacted Sheikh Anisuzzaman, range officer of Joldi sanctuary of Baskhali under forest department denied that they were informed by locals. He said they got the information of the incident on Thursday night.

“Learning about it on Thursday night, our team rushed to the spot on Friday and collected details of the incident. We are going to file a case in this regard”, he said.

Fishing cat is categorized as endangered species by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2015.