Staff Correspondent,29 June, 2021:
The government plans to go all out to make sure that people stay at home during the “strict lockdown” to be enforced from Thursday to stem the surge in Covid deaths and infections.
It is going to deploy army personnel across the country with the task of enforcing the restrictions and keeping people off the streets.
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“Members of the army, police, Border Guard Bangladesh and the Armed Police Battalion will be on patrol. They have been given the authority to take appropriate action so that people don’t step out of their homes…,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said yesterday.
He was briefing the media after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Asked what kind of action army personnel will take to enforce the lockdown, he said, “They will carry out patrol. If anyone defies the lockdown, they [army personnel] can take legal action.”
He did not give any direct answer to a question whether the army personnel would be given magistracy power.
Talking to The Daily Star, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder said there are different types of legal actions that can be taken.
“Charging baton for unlawful gatherings is one kind of legal action… There are also mobile courts to take legal actions,” he observed.
At yesterday’s briefing, the cabinet secretary did not make it clear whether garment factories will stay open or rickshaws will be allowed to ply the roads.
He said they will meet with the home minister to discuss the lockdown in detail and the government decisions will be made public through a notification today.aby