Festivity amid security
Shurovi and Sonia, master's students of economics at Eden College, were going through an archway to enter the book fair premises yesterday.
They were waiting in a long queue while police personnel checked their bags.
All the visitors had to go through tight security measures to enter the fair premises on the Bangla Academy grounds and a part of Suhrawardy Udyan.
“It's time consuming, but it's for our safety,” said Shurovi.
As yesterday was Valentine's Day, the fair premises were swarmed by couples, holding bagful of books in one hand and each others' with the other.
They also expressed satisfaction over the security measures taken at the fair. As vehicles are not allowed to ply the road from TSC to Doyel Chattar, visitors, including children, were able to move freely.
“I had to wait for long but I understand the necessity of it,” Sadat Bin Kashem, a private job holder, told this correspondent after being searched by police. Sadat was waiting for his wife, who was awaiting her turn at a queue for female visitors.
“Visitors are cooperating with us,” said Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia. “No untoward incident has occurred yet.”
Along with uniformed police personnel, plainclothes policemen are also monitoring the premises, he said.
Meanwhile, the DMP commissioner at a press briefing at the Suhrawardy Udyan also reinstated that actions will be taken against authors and publishers if found they are selling books that hurt religious sentiment.
“The overall security measures are satisfactory. But it's not the responsibility of police to monitor arts and literature,” said Dipak Roy, chief executive of Samhati Prokashani.
On the 14th day, 146 new books arrived and 23 were unveiled. As new books are arriving daily and booklovers buying, publishers are happy with the profit they have made so far.
According to a Bangla Academy press release, it has sold books worth over Tk 50 lakh in the last 13 days.