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Restrictions on mass gatherings, use of loudspeakers across the country

  • Published at 08:42 pm December 3rd, 2020
restriction-mass-gatherings
Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Decision taken to tackle second wave of Covid-19, say top government officials

The government has decided to take measures to discourage mass gatherings and the use of microphones and loudspeakers across the country.

According to top officials of the government, authorities concerned have made this decision so that people cannot gather in large groups this winter to join processions, rallies, and political or religious events, in order to tackle the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Critics of this move, however, said this decision was made in light of the anti-sculpture movements of several Islamic groups, not due to coronavirus fears.

Local administrations have already received directives to take necessary steps in this regard, according to sources. Divisional commissioners have sent necessary instructions to concerned administrative bodies including local law enforcement agencies.

State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain on Thursday told Dhaka Tribune: “We are discouraging programs which draw mass gatherings due to the impending second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are not cancelling all programs, we’re approving programs of limited scale after ensuring that the health safety guidelines are followed,” he added.

Talking about the issue with Dhaka Tribune, Religious Affairs Ministry Secretary Md Nurul Islam said: “After the emergence of Covid-19 in Bangladesh, we had issued an instruction asking concerned authorities to not permit people to use big microphones or hold waz mahfils, tabligh jaamats, ijtema or any such programs that can attract a large public gathering.

“We did not withdraw those directives, so they are still in effect.”

He further said: “However, the steps that the field level administrations, especially the divisional and deputy commissioners, take considering the realities of their respective areas would be indisputable.”

Meanwhile, a waz mahfil of Mamunul Haque, joint general secretary of Hefazat-e-Islam, in Sirajganj was cancelled due to objections from several wings of the ruling party on Thursday.

Mamunul was scheduled to address a waz mahfil in the Jamtail area of Belkuchi upazila in the district on December 17. It was organized by Jamtail Darul Ulum Qawmia Hafizia Madrasa.

DMP: Rallies, political events cannot be held without permission

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said it would take legal action against meetings, processions, rallies, and programs of any kind held in the metropolitan area without obtaining prior permission.

A press release, signed by DMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam, was issued by the DMP Media and Public Relation Division in this regard on Wednesday.

The DMP urged all to refrain from organizing processions, meetings, gatherings, and other activities without taking its prior permission for the sake of the overall safety of life and property in the metropolitan area.

“It has been noticed that different social, political, and religious organizations are holding meetings, rallies and mass gatherings without taking permission from the appropriate authorities,” said the press release.

According to the DMP Ordinance, taking prior permission from the DMP commissioner is a must to hold such programs and to use sound equipment inside the areas under its jurisdiction in order to ensure the civic amenities of the general people, law and order, and traffic control.

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