Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said: “No programmes will be held in the open during Bangla New Year, or Pohela Boishakh, after 5pm.”
He made the statement on Monday to reporters after attending a meeting at the Secretariat in Dhaka on security measures for Pohela Boishakh, the upcoming anniversary of Bangladesh Islamic Foundation, and the ongoing Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference which ends on April 6.
Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Haque, Rapid Action Battalion General Director Benazir Ahmed, Director General of Ansar Maj Gen Mizanur Rahman Khan, and senior law enforcement officials attended the meeting.
The home minister said Pohela Boishakh is a universal festival for Bengalis. The government gave government service holders bonuses last year to celebrate Pohela Boishakh.
“As the day is a joyous one for all Bengalis, we want to stay safe on that day,” he said.
“For this reason, we have called this meeting. We would like to provide perfect security across the country. Thus, no program will be allowed to take place in the open on Pohela Boishakh after 5pm,” he added.
The home minister also said that those who arrive early to attend the Mongol Shobhajatra of Pohela Boishakh will be allowed to remain the entire time. However, those who wish to join the rally midway will not be allowed to do so.
“Also, no one is allowed to play vuvuzelas during Pohela Boishakh. Its sound is such that it incites fear and disturbs all who hear it. All government rules will be followed during programmes held in the Dhaka University area,” he further said.
Ramna Batamul, TSC and Rabindra Sarobar areas will see extensive security arrangements on that day. There will be CCTV and plain cloth police on hand to prevent eve teasing. Only a single passenger will be allowed to ride on motorbikes, the minister said.
He said women will not be allowed to carry extra bags in these areas, only their own vanity bags.
He added that two imams from Mecca and Medina have been invited by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to attend the anniversary of Bangladesh Islamic Foundation. Their safety has been confirmed, he further said.