Security measures have been tightened at all domestic and international airports to ensure safety of air travellers following the militant attacks at a Dhaka café and at Sholakia, Kishoreganj, said the civil aviation and tourism minister.
“I will urge passengers to cooperate so that strict security measures can be implemented at all airports in the interest of the country,” Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon told reporters after a meeting on security issues with high officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (Caab).
The minister and Caab officials refused to give details of the steps taken by the government at the three international and 12 domestic airports that are operating 38 airlines within and outside the country.
However, officials at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka said that from now on passengers would have to go through multiple layers of security checks before entering the airport premises and boarding a plane.
In the media briefing, Menon said the deadly terror attacks, which claimed 24 lives, including 17 foreign nationals at Holey Artisan cafe, brought a great disaster to the country.
Without mentioning the names, he added that those, who had been trying to “internationalise” terrorism in Bangladesh, could do so after the attacks.
“Those who were trying to portray Bangladesh as a militant state before the world have become successful to an extent. That's why the whole nation has to be united in resisting such evil plans.”
The leftist leader also said that after the terror incidents, some countries began saying that their concern over Bangladesh being a high risk country proved to be real.
“Those who want to indentify Bangladesh as a country of militancy will be successful if proper security measures are not taken,” Menon added.
Conceding that pressure from other countries will be intensified on Bangladesh to enhance security, Menon said the civil aviation ministry has taken “zero tolerance” policy to security threats at the international and domestic airports.
In this regard, the president of the Workers Party also said 176 officials of Caab and 25 officials of Biman Bangladesh Airlines were trained in security-related issues by a British company-- Redline.
The aviation ministry will ask all Bangladesh high-commissioners and ambassadors abroad to assure foreign dignitaries of safety at the airports in Bangladesh, he said.
“We have an image that Bangladesh's airports are safe and we will not let it down in any way.”
Lambasting Australia, the UK and Germany for banning direct cargo flights from Dhaka, Menon said those countries made the decision out of political reason, not on security grounds.
“We will resolve the issue through discussions at the diplomatic level,” he added.