Volunteers to keep vigil for women's safety
Narir Jonno Nirapod Bangladesh Andolon, a new platform of social, cultural and human rights organisations, will remain vigilant at and around Dhaka University to ensure women's safety during the celebration of Bangla New Year.
Convenor Sharmin Murshid announced the initiative at the launching of the organisation yesterday.
Teams comprising 10 to 20 volunteers each will keep a watch at 22 points from Matshyabhaban to Doyel Chattar via Shahbagh and TSC on the day of Pahela Baishakh, she said at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.
Volunteers wearing a blue jacket will work in two shifts from 7:00am to 7:00pm.
Sharmin sought support from all, including the law enforcement agencies in implementing the programme.
A separate control room will be set up to maintain communication with the team of proctor of Dhaka University and police, she said. Besides, three mobile teams will remain alert.
More than 35 social organisations formed the platform to ensure a safe Bangladesh for women.
Torture on women and children has reached a dangerous level, Sharmin said, adding that the objective of the organisation was to ensure women's safety through vigilance.
If necessary, volunteers of different organisations, and the DU administration will carry sticks and swords, said Prof Ajay Roy, father of slain writer-blogger Avijit Roy.
The platform will bring out a procession from Shahbagh to the press club in the capital on April 12 to make people aware of the programme. A cultural rally will also be held following the procession.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) yesterday began a seven-day drive against muggers and dope gangs for preventing untoward incidents during Pahela Baishakh celebrations.
The decision was made at the monthly crime conference held at the DMP headquarters, DMP Deputy Commissioner (media) Maruf Hossain Sardar told The Daily Star.
He said the move also aimed at keeping people safe during the festival.
Last month's law and order situation was also discussed during the four-hour conference, he added.
Last year, the joyous celebration of Pahela Baishakh was tainted by incidents of sexual assault on women on the DU campus, sparking widespread public outrage.
This year, the government has slapped a ban on wearing masks in "Mongol Shovajatra" on the DU campus on security grounds.
The government has also imposed restrictions on carrying matches, lighters and handbags over similar concern.