Local administration and police on Tuesday rescued 17 families of garment workers, who were forced by a union parishad member and a local Awami League leader to live in a haor adjacent to Chandpur village of Khaliajuri upazila in Netrakona.
The families recently returned to the village under Nagar Union Parishad after their factories in Narayanganj and Gazipur were declared closed due to the nationwide shutdown.
But the Union Parishad Member Debashis Das and local Awami League Activist Dipak Das did not let them enter their houses and forced them to stay in quarantine in Kasmakanda Haor.
The stranded families, which include 56 men, women and children, spent two weeks there. Several nights they lived under the open sky in the haor. Then some of them made huts with straw collected from the haor. But they suffered from acute food crisis there.
Mangal Das, 40, said, "We willingly wanted to stay in quarantine in our own houses. But the villagers provoked by the UP member and Dipak did not allow us to stay at home."
Rita Rani Das, 18, said she could not sleep at night for two weeks during their stay in the haor.
However, a team led by Khaliajuri Upazila Nirbahi Officer AHM Ariful Islam and Additional Superintendent of Police Fakhruzzaman Jewel rescued them from the haor and provided them with food.
Ariful Islam said, "Those who forced the families to stay in the haor, committed a very offensive deed. Legal steps would be taken against them."