Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has taken several preventive measures to tackle possible harassment and criminal activities during Pohela Boishakh festivities today.
Security provisions will include mobile courts at Ramna Botomul and Hatirjheel in Dhaka and patrols by helicopters and plainclothes cops, RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed told a press conference at Ramna Batamul on Friday.
Initiatives have been taken to ensure immediate punishment for sexual harassment and other offenses, he added.
The RAB DG also said: “It is indeed a challenging task to provide security for such a large scale event. Nonetheless, ensuring safety and security of the citizens is our top priority. We are taking the necessary preparations. We will deploy troops in all major locations including Ramna Batamul and Rabindra Sarobar, where events and rallies will take place.
“We will also keep close watch through CCTVs and observation posts. We are staying alert to spot any suspicious activities in nearby hotels and slums. RAB members are keeping an eye out for militant activities as well.”
Benazir said his force is keeping close watch on the media as well to spot any provocative content and take immediate action. “Print and electronic media as well as social media are being monitored, said Benazir Ahmed.”
Asked if there are any imminent threats, he said: “We have not spotted any concrete threats yet. Still, we have heightened our security measures for the people.”
A team of divers will be present at Ramna Lake to prevent possible accidents, the RAB official said, adding that for the first time ever, lounges have been set up in Ramna and Hatirjheel for people to relax.
Echoing Benazir, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said law enforcers have not yet identified any security threats centring on the celebrations.
“Strong and coordinated security measures have been taken all over the country to make sure programs marking the Bangla New Year are observed in a free and smooth manner. Mangal Shobhajatra [a mass procession that takes place on the first morning of the Bengali New Year] will be monitored using CCTVs,” he told reporters on Friday, while reviewing security measures at Ramna Batamul.
As the holy Shab-e-Miraz will be observed across the country tonight, no Pohela Boishakh event in public places will be allowed after 5pm, the minister said.
On Thursday, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia told a press briefing that police would cordon off venues around the Dhaka University campus to ensure smooth and safe celebrations of the first day of Bangla New Year.
He urged people to refrain from carrying any vanity bags, bags, trolleys, flammable objects, knives, and sharp weapons during the celebrations.
Sections of this article were taken from banglatribune.com