Bangladesh beefing up security ahead of Durga Puja

Social media will be monitored in order to prevent communal violence, says Asaduzzaman Khan

Law enforcement agencies have been instructed to be more vigilant during the upcoming Durga Puja based on last year's experience, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said.

Bangladesh Ansar will permanently guard the puja mandaps across Bangladesh this year, he said during a press briefing at the Secretariat on Sunday.

Durga Puja is set to be held from October 1, and this year there will be 32,168 puja mandaps set up across Bangladesh. Which is more than last year, he added.

In order to ensure overall security during the puja, the home minister also announced that mobile courts would be available on spot. “CCTV cameras would also be installed at the puja mandaps.”

Besides, he said, social media will be monitored, so no one can spread rumors that might incite communal violence. 

"Strict action will be taken against those who try to spread any kind of rumors around Durga Puja,” he added.

The home minister also said musical instruments from the puja mandaps should be suspended during Azan (Islamic call to prayer).

Last year, Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of Hindus in Bangladesh ended amid tension and violence.

Due to the Covid-19 situation, the traditional Bijoya Dashami procession was not carried out that year. 

Although security was heightened across Bangladesh over communal violence, several clashes and vandalism took place.