No mask on Pahela Baishakh
The celebration of Pahela Baishakh this year will see a major change as the government has slapped a ban on wearing masks in "Mongol Shovajatra" on Dhaka University campus.
The ban has been imposed on security grounds. The government has imposed restrictions on carrying matches, lighters and hand bags at the Bangla new year celebration over similar concern.
It has also banned Vuvuzela as it creates a high-pitched unpleasant sound.
Different social and cultural organisations, including Udichi, have been demanding a ban on Vuvuzala at public gatherings, especially during the celebration.
The Faculty of Fine Arts of DU arranges Mongol Shovajatra to mark the first day of Bangla calendar. People wear bright masks and carry models of animals and other items associated with Bangali heritage in the procession.
The government yesterday asked all to complete all programmes on the day by 5:00PM.
People will have to leave the Dhaka University campus by 6:00pm to avert any possible untoward incident.
The decisions were made yesterday at a meeting of law enforcement agencies on security measures ahead of Bangla New Year-1423 at the home ministry with the minister, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, in the chair.
A number of women were molested on the DU campus during the last year's celebration, which was followed by a series of protests by all quarters.
Police, who initially denied the incidents, at last identified eight youths involved in those.
A police team that probed the incidents recommended imposing restrictions on the mass entry to the TSC in DU and Suhrawardi Udyan, vacating the areas before evening, increasing entry and exit points for smooth passes, and installing CCTV cameras by the DU authorities along with police on days like Pahela Baishakh.
Talking to reporters, Home Minister Kamal said all programmes of Pahela Baishakh must end by 5:00pm across the country.
Foolproof security measures have been taken at Ramna Batamul, TSC and Suhrawardy Udyan for ensuring smooth celebration of the day.
Besides, personnel of the Rapid Action Battalion and police in plainclothes will be there at event venues, and close circuit cameras and watch towers be installed in and around the venues in the city, said the minister.
The government is committed to ensuring security of people on the day, he said, adding that the law enforcement agencies had been asked to remain alert.
Regarding the ban on Vuvuzela, Kamal said it creates an obnoxious sound and so it was banned.
The meeting also decided to take special security measures at public places, including bus and launch terminals, railway stations and diplomatic zone, sources at the meeting said.
Law enforcers will forbid traffic movement at Ramna, Bangla Academy, TSC, Shahbagh and Rabindra Sarobar in Dhanmondi on the day and provide special food at all jails.