Law enforcement agencies have organised unprecedented security measures throughout the capital for the upcoming Pahela Baishakh celebrations, including at the main venue in Ramna, with a large security contingent deployed to ward off potential disturbances tomorrow.
Ramna Batamul, the main venue for the Bangla New Year celebrations on April 14, faced a bomb attack in 2011 that left at least 10 people dead.
This year, 20,000 police and Rapid Action Battalion personnel will take position at eight points in the capital while Border Guard Bangladesh will be on standby. Riot police, swat teams and bomb disposal teams will also be on duty. In addition, a sufficient number of water cannons and armoured carriers will be deployed at sensitive points.
The information was disclosed at a press briefing at Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) media and community centre yesterday.
Speaking at the briefing, DMP Commissioner Benzir Ahmed said, “A foolproof security net will be put in place, in and around Ramna Park, from Saturday noon, so that no one dares to carry out subversive activities.” He also requested the main event organisers at Ramna Park to finish the programme by 5pm.
“We have already searched the entire Ramna Park area and sealed it to bar entry of any people before the Pahela Baishakh festival, to ensure foolproof security,” Benzir added.
Maruf Hossain, deputy commissioner of police of Ramna division said: “Around 22 check posts would be setup at different strategic points in the city with police personnel stationed round the clock.” He also said that around 24 cctv cameras will be installed in and around Ramna Park and its adjoining areas for foolproof security.
“No one will be allowed to enter the venue without proper check-up and there will be metal detectors equipped at entrance and exit points,” he added.
DMP has suggested that Ramna bound vehicles be parked at six selected points. Vehicles that will come from the north will be able to park at Old Elephant Road and Minto Road, from the east - at Segun Bagicha, from the west - in the Kataban area and from the south - at High Court and the Curzon Hall area.
The DMP traffic division has already stopped the movement of vehicles on the routes from Banglamotor to Old Elephant Road, crossing to High court, Ruposhi Banlga crossing to Minto Road, Nilkhet crossing to tsc, Polashi to Shaheed Minar and Bakshibazar to Jagannath Hall for security purposes.
As a final suggestion, the commissioner advised people to not carry on them any metal objects at the function and obey the law, in order to help officials maintain security for a successful programme and a happy beginning to the year.