RAB DG Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun says security measures have been taken across the country for peaceful observance of the day
The Rapid Action Battalion has taken necessary security measures across Bangladesh for the smooth and peaceful observance of Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day on Sunday, RAB Director General Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun has said.
“We don’t have any information on any possible subversive act, but security has been beefed up across the country, including Dhaka. In coordination with the members of other forces, RAB will monitor the important places and divisional cities in plainclothes to prevent any evil attempts,” he said on Saturday.
Talking to reporters after inspecting the security situation in the Central Shaheed Minar area, the RAB DG said helicopters would be ready to tackle any emergency situation.
Mamun said the Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day would be observed in accordance with health safety rules outlined by the government due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"RAB has taken strict security measures to ensure the safety of visitors in the Shaheed Minar area and to avoid any possible chaos and terrorist activities,” he said.
He said a three-tier security initiative by RAB would be in force by dividing the central Shaheed Minar area into five zones in coordination with the police.
The RAB DG said their bomb disposal unit and dog squad would work in the Shaheed Minar area.
Security has been further ensured by searching hotels, restaurants, slums and other places around the Central Shaheed Minar, he added.
Check posts have been set up at different important points near the Shaheed Minar.
On February 21, 1952, students and common people in Dhaka took to the streets in protest against the then Pakistani government's denial of Bangla as the national language and the imposition of Urdu as the only official language of Pakistan.
Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and a few other brave sons of the soil were killed in police firings on this day in 1952 when students came out in a procession from the Dhaka University campus, defying section 144 to press home their demand for the recognition of Bangla as a state language of then Pakistan.
Bangladesh observes "Amar Ekushey" – Language Martyrs Day (Shaheed Day) and International Mother Language Day – on February 21 every year to mark the supreme sacrifice of language heroes for upholding the right to speak their mother tongue Bangla.
Following the formation of local government by the Jukto Front in April 1954, the anniversary of February 21 was declared as a holiday.
The day is also revered around the world as UNESCO recognized Ekushey February as International Mother Language Day on November 17, 1999.
Ekushey Book Fair
Earlier, the government delayed the opening of the Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2021 saying that it will be held physically in March following the Covid-19 health safety guidelines.
State Minister of Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said this at a press conference on January 17. The event has been delayed considering the Covid-19 situation, he added.
"We thought that the book fair could be organized in the post-Covid-19 situation. Preparations were taken to begin the fair virtually but we couldn't do so due to the Covid-19 situation," said KM Khalid.
The Amar Ekushey Book Fair, an annual event close to the hearts of book lovers, publishers, and authors of the country, draws a huge crowd.