The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has prohibited carrying any type of bag in Dhaka during Pohela Boishakh celebrations on Sunday.
Acting RAB Director General (DG) Jahangir Alam made the announcement on Friday, at a press briefing after visiting Ramna Park to check security ahead of the Bangla New Year 1426 celebrations.
“When there are bags, we need more time to search. And people may carry something dangerous (in their bags). If people are carrying their children's food in bags, then security personnel may be considerate,” he said.
The main venues, particularly Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Dhaka University, Rabindra Sarobar, Hatirjheel, Gulshan Park, and Bahadur Shah Park and its surrounding areas, will be brought under stringent security arrangements by setting up CCTVs, archways, and watch towers.
Law enforcement will be deployed in large numbers.
Jahangir said RAB also issued a ban on wearing masks, smoking, and tooting vuvuzelas, to avoid any untoward incidents during the celebrations.
The RAB acting DG further said: “Legal action will be taken against those who play vuvuzelas and smoke during the celebrations. We have taken necessary measures to facilitate a peaceful celebration of the event.”
To ensure safety and prevent sabotage during Pohela Boishakh, RAB is ready with a large contingent of forces from five battalions in Dhaka until the program ends, the acting chief of the elite force said.
“Our deployment preparations started Friday morning, and will continue until Saturday midnight. Full deployment will be in place until the program ends,” he informed.
RAB will be divided into different sectors in Dhaka and will be deployed at major venues.
“In Dhaka, the outer perimeter will be constantly patrolled. There will be motorcycle patrols, foot patrols, and observation posts. Important venues are being swept by dog squads and bomb disposal units,” he said, assuring “100%” safety at all venues.
There will also be mobile courts at the major venues to ensure prompt action.
“I can assure you that we will be able to arrange programs safely across the country,” Jahangir said.
He also requested people to leave the Ramna Park and Suhrawardy Udyan areas by 6pm on the day.
There are eight gates for the Ramna Park venue, three of which will be used for entrance and two for exiting.
Adequate numbers of police, including SWAT plain clothes police, detectives, and intelligence team, will be deployed along with regular police force to prevent eve teasing and untoward incidents during the celebrations. Dhaka University volunteers will also assist law enforcement officials.