High alert in Bangladesh on Bengali New YearApril 14th, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by admin
Dhaka, April 14 (DPA) Security was put on high alert as thousands of people thronged the national park in the Bangladesh capital Monday morning to welcome the Bengali New Year. A street march by students wearing masks highlighted the ceremonies dubbed by the country’s Muslim clerics as anti-Islamic.
Suspected Islamic activists were held responsible for a deadly bomb attack inside the park during similar Bengali celebrations in 2001.
The attack left seven people dead and several more injured among the spectators.
The interim government beefed up security around the park deploying about a thousand policemen and commandos. Close circuit television cameras and sniffer dogs were used at the main venue of the new year’s show.
“The deployment of forces in Dhaka and in other cities was determined after analysing all probable threats to security and the presence of huge crowds,” said Hasan Mahmud Khandakar, chief of the special Rapid Action Battalion.
Sources said nearly 12,000 security men were mobilised across the country.
Islamic militants want the moderate Muslim country to ban the ceremonies, calling them pagan rituals.
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