No outdoor celebrations
The government has imposed a ban on all outdoor programmes and gatherings from New Years Eve dusk to dawn the next day “on security grounds”.
The deputy commissioners (DC) of districts and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) have been conveyed the government decision and people were advised to stay home that night.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also advised people to ask law enforcers before organising any celebratory party that night.
The issue was discussed at yesterday's cabinet meeting where the prime minister told the authorities concerned not to allow outdoor programmes from the evening of December 31.
The issue came up after Civil Aviation and Tourism Affairs Minister Rashed Khan Menon told the cabinet meeting that his ministry had planned fireworks on Cox's Bazar beach that evening to mark International Tourism Year, 2016.
He cancelled the fireworks following the PM's directive.
Menon told The Daily Star, “There are security concerns in the country. The quarters which have carried out recent subversive activities at different parts of the country may take advantage on the day and this is why it won't be right to hold any outdoor programmes.
“This is the government decision which has been conveyed through the DCs and law enforcement agencies,” he said.
At a press briefing at the DMP media centre, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah said all forms of gathering and celebrations outdoors would be prohibited from dusk on December 31.
However, city dwellers would be encouraged to celebrate the occasion indoors as police would provide security to important establishments, including hotels and clubs.
He also said traffic at Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, and Dhaka University areas would be controlled and no “outsiders” would be allowed in these areas during that time.
Residents of Gulshan, Banani, and Baridhara have been advised to return home by 8:00pm and those areas would be accessible only through Kakoli intersection.
Dhaka University would be under tight vigilance and students, teachers, and staff would be allowed to enter the university area through Fuller Road provided they have their identity cards, he said.
People not of DU areas have been advised to use the High Court-Doyel Chattar-Shaheed Minar-Palashi route between 6:00pm and 5:00am to pass the DU area, the DMP commissioner added.
No public gathering would be allowed at Hatirjheel area after 6:00pm but vehicular movement would remain as usual.
All the bars have been instructed to close before 6:00pm on December 31. People with licensed firearms have been asked not to carry their weapon between 8:00pm to 5:00am in residential hotels, and restaurants, said the DMP chief.
Fireworks have been prohibited.
Asked if the restrictions were due to specific threats, Asaduzzaman said they had not received any specific threats.
He said the DMP with the help of officials of the Department of Narcotics Control would conduct a three-day drive against illegal drugs.
The Department of Narcotics Control imposed a ban on buying and selling of all types of liquor across the country for 24 hours from 6:00pm on Thursday.
All bars would remain closed during the period and hotels would not serve liquor to its guests, except foreign guests, said Khandakar Rakibur Rahman, director general of the department, at a press briefing in Tejgaon Industrial Area yesterday.