Durga Puja, one of the biggest religious festivals of Hindu community, is right around the corner. The annual festival will formally begin through the Maha Shashthi Puja at temples across the country on September 26.
The festivities will begin with the Maha Shashti Puja on September 26, through recitation of the verses from holy scriptures and blowing of conch shells (Shankha), accompanied by the beating of dhak-dhols (drums) in temples and pavilions. The festival will conclude through the Vijaya Dashami on September 30.
Stringent security measures will be implemented at temples in the capital and across the country during the celebrations. Additional members of the RAB, police, DB and Ansars will be deployed at the pavilions, along with CCTVs to avert any untoward incident.
An extended meeting on the security measures was held at the capital’s Dhakeshwari Temple on Friday.
Senior officials of the DMP, including DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia and high-ups from the Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad attended the meeting.
Addressing the security issue, the DMP commissioner said: “The police have taken all necessary measures to ensure a safe and secure celebration of Durga Puja festival this year. Security has been tightened in places where the idols are being built. Stringent security measures will be implemented from Mahalaya to Dashami at every level.”
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan told the Dhaka Tribune: “RAB is ready to tackle any possible untoward incident, during the Durga Puja celebrations throughout the country. RAB will implement round-the-clock security measures at the Puja pavilions, through the use of bomb disposal units, dog squads, patrol teams, and CCTV cameras.”
Meanwhile, Jayanta Sen Dipu, president of the Bangladesh Puja Utjapan Parishad told the Dhaka Tribune: “Around 30,000 temporary pavilions are being built across the country, including 231 in the capital, to mark the upcoming Durga Puja festivities. Puja udjapan committees across the country have been instructed on necessary security measures.”
Puja committees have been instructed to build temporary or permanent fence in every temple and pavilion, separate entrance and exit for male and female visitor, deploy volunteers, ban fireworks, conclude idol immersion ceremony by 10pm on September 30, and have a backup generator in case of power failure. The volunteers have also been directed to coordinate with the law enforcers and administration and report any untoward incident immediately.
The Police have been directed to remain vigilant against any indications of militant or extremist activities. The law enforcers will further increase surveillance during the Durga Puja festivities, to detect and neutralise any possible plot of sabotage.
The DMP will deploy plainclothes police officers to tackle the sexual harassment at the pavilions. Anyone found involved in sexual harassment or any unlawful act will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Dhaka Tribune has learned that senior police officials, and OCs of concerned areas will inspect the puja pavilions in person during and ahead of puja celebrations.
Massive security net in Chittagong
Law enforcement agencies will deploy 50,000 personnel in the 11 districts of Chittagong to ensure security during Durga Puja.
The festival will be observed at 3,594 pavillions this year within this jurisdiction, Chittagong range Additional DIG (crime) Kusum Dewan told the Dhaka Tribune on Saturday.
“The 50,000 personnel will include uniformed and undercover members of police, RAB and Ansar.” l