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100 detained in Dhaka in police crackdown

Police raided 12 dormitories of Dhaka University and detained 100 people as a precautionary measure before the New Year's Eve celebrations.

world Updated: Dec 31, 2005 15:23 IST

In a pre-dawn swoop before the New Year revelry, police raided dormitories of Dhaka University and detained at least 100 people on Saturday.

The identity of the detainees was not revealed, but police said they were not students and were staying at the university dormitories without permission. They were detained as a precautionary measure before the New Year's Eve celebrations, police said.

A huge contingent of police raided 12 dormitories of the country's largest university and detained the group of mostly young people.

The officer-in-charge of Ramna police station in Dhaka, Mahbubur Rahman, told reporters that police conducted the operation to avoid any untoward incident ahead of the celebration of New Year's Eve.

Earlier, the Government heightened security in Dhaka and all other major cities ahead of New Year's Eve, with more than 8,000 security force personnel deployed in the capital alone.

The increased security measures have come in the wake of a spurt in terrorist activities in the country in the past few months.

The Department of Narcotics Control has asked the authorised bars, clubs, hotels, guest houses and restaurants not to sell or serve liquor to customer on Saturday evening in Muslim majority Bangladesh where selling alcohol without permission is illegal.

"Police force will remain alert in Dhaka, specially in the diplomatic area which covers Gulshan, Banani and Baridha," a deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said.

"The whole area will virtually be sealed off. No one will be allowed to enter in the area without any invitation for a specific party," he said.

A number of mobile teams, comprising law enforcers and doctors, will be posted at different city points from the evening to check suspects and unruly New Year revellers, and if anyone gets unruly on the street taking liquor will be taken into custody, police officials said.

The year 2005 saw a series of bombings in the country as well as several suicide attacks by terrorists who have launched a campaign to establish Islamic law in the Muslim-majority country.

On August 17, about 400 crude bombs exploded in 63 of Bangladesh's 64 districts, killing two people and injuring about 200.

First Published: Dec 31, 2005 15:23 IST