We appreciate the move by Bangla Academy to provide security to the Amar Ekushey Grontho Mela through a number of measures including the setting up of two Rab camps, multiple checkpoints and watchtowers and banning of hawkers from entering the fair premises. We hope that these steps prove to be adequate to prevent any untoward incident during the fair which, since its inception in 1984, has grown into the largest book fair of the country and engages the community throughout the month of February. Sadly, this is also where writer-blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death last year and Professor Humayun Azad brutally attacked in 2004.
It is, therefore, imperative that this year the authorities leave no stone unturned to provide safety and security to the public who have the right to participate freely in an event that is so intrinsically linked to our glorious language movement.
The key to assuring a safe and comfortable environment for large crowds like in the book fair is the planning for their management. We hope that the law enforcement authorities have done their homework by taking into account all elements of such a large event especially the significance of the fair, characteristics of the facility, size and demeanour of the crowd, methods of entrance, communications, crowd control and queuing. Volunteers can also serve as an effective buffer between uniformed security and the public in tense situations.
Last but not least, we call upon the public to stay vigilant about any trouble monger.