Save Saphale's shrimp farms from looters

Published: May 23, 2020, 04:30 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The gangs are also cheeky about selling this loot in markets as if the haul is legitimately theirs

This paper's front-page report on a spike in brashness at farms in Saphale, is a sit up, take notice and act moment for police and the government machinery.

Saphale is a small town in Palghar district in Maharashtra. It is an aquaculture hub, the capital of prawn farming in the state. Farmers in Saphale, the report detailed, have been seeing an increase in the aggressive modus operandi of thieves.

They come in gangs and swoop down on the ponds, filching up to300 kg of prawn in casting nets.

The police need to take a serious view and act swiftly on these complaints. Particularly alarming is the fact that what seems to be small and petty theft has morphed and escalated to organised, armed crime.

The gangs are also cheeky about selling this loot in markets as if the haul is legitimately theirs.

Cops need to display great will to protect the owners and this industry from being wiped out of Saphale. These are dacoities being carried out under the cover of darkness.

The criminals can be caught because it is not easy to cart a truckload of prawn, at least 200 to 300 kg. They need vehicles that are stationed close by and then, have to sell them as quickly as possible since the produce is perishable.

The chain will make it easier for the cops to nab the criminals. This is a small town, where news spreads fast. Punitive action on one set of thieves and the entire chain, from the vehicle owner, to those involved in the operation, will act as a huge deterrent to others.

We must be concerned about these gangs wielding weapons, as the confrontations may now end up in violence.

Owners claim they have complained but thefts are on. Nip this in the bud and start a campaign against the shrimp stealing terror, now.

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