Bangladesh tightens security ahead of New Year festivity

April 13th, 2009 - 11:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, April 13 (DPA) Bangladeshi authorities Monday deployed over 10,000 law enforcement officers to ensure security for the celebration of the Bengali New Year Tuesday in the capital Dhaka, officials said.
“We will ensure the highest security so that the people can celebrate the day with more enthusiasm,” Home Minister Sahara Khatun told reporters visiting the prime celebration venue at the Raman Green, where traditionally tens of thousands of people from all walks of life gather to celebrate Pohila Boishakh, the first day of the Bangladeshi calendar.

Khatun said security arrangements were better this time round compared to those for the celebration of Victory Day programmes in December and other major festivals last year.

The law enforcers, both in uniform and plainclothes, will keep a close eye on movements of people, particularly at Ramna Batamul, the heartland of the Pohila Boishakh carnival, said a senior official of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

For the first time, the authorities will deploy the members of a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) force as well as the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion throughout the capital city.

On Sunday, security forces captured eight suspected Islamist militants on the city’s outskirts and seized explosives.

In 2001, at least 10 revellers were killed in an attack on a musical programme at the Ramna Park when the Bengali New Year celebration was on.

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