Bangladesh tightens security for New Year's eve

Dhaka, Dec 31 : Authorities in Bangladesh have tightened security in capital Dhaka for New Year's eve in the wake of the volatile political situation in the country, an official said Tuesday.

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) official told Xinhua that surveillance cameras have been installed in major squares and main streets to thwart any untoward incident.

He said thousands of law enforcers would be positioned outside key state institutions. Checkpoints manned by explosives experts have been set up on many streets, said the official.

The DMP has already banned any kind of gathering of four or more people on the city streets, parks and squares from 8 p.m. Tuesday as part of security measures for the capital for New Year's eve.

DMP Commissioner Benazir Ahmed said police would also limit motorised vehicles in the city Tuesday night.

Sources said the stringent measures come amid an increase in political violence in the country centering around the main opposition party's anti-government movement, demanding general elections under a non-party caretaker government.

Bangladesh's main opposition called for an indefinite blockade from Wednesday morning to put more pressure on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government to scrap the polls slated for Jan 5.

The announcement came hours after the end of the opposition's two-day March for Democracy amid stray incidents of violence in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its 17 allies are boycotting the elections.

Khaleda Zia has asked Hasina to bring back a non-party caretaker system or else the opposition would not participate in the elections.

--IANS (Posted on 31-12-2013)

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