|Some of the dead fish spotted on the banks of the Teesta in Jalpaiguri on Tuesday. Picture by Biplab Basak|
Officials from the fisheries department collected samples of water and mud from the river bank. "Our officers have collected water and other samples. These would be sent to Calcutta for confirmatory tests to find out if any toxic substance was put into the water. We have also informed our superiors and the district magistrate about the incident," said Partha Pratim Das, the assistant director of fisheries in Jalpaiguri.
As the news spread, hundreds of local people went to Jubilee Park and Saradapally areas on the banks of the Teesta to see the dead fish. Species like mourala, puti and boroli were seen floating on the water.
Some local residents said they had seen some fishermen taking away the dead fish from the area in the morning.
A similar incident was reported in the Karala river, which flows through the town, on November 2011. The fisheries department had to bring in fresh water from the Teesta-Mahananda Link Canal to flush out the contaminated water.
Police officials in Kotwali police station, on being told about the incident, said they had not received any intimation from the fisheries department.