POST TIME: 6 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Home ministry beefs up internal security

Home ministry beefs up internal security

Two days after the stabbing of Prof. Md Zafar Iqbal, a teacher of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), the home ministry beefed up its internal security by setting up archways yesterday (Monday). The security wing of the Public Security Division of the home ministry erected three archways in front of the office of the home minister, the office of the secretary of the Security Service Division and the office of the secretary of the Public Security Division. When visiting the home ministry yesterday noon, this correspondent found that members of the Special Branch (SB) were operating the archways, asking staff members and visitors to pass through the archways. The staff members were a little hesitant to pass through the archways.

When contacted, the secretary of the Public Security Service Division of the home ministry, Mostafa Kamal Uddin, told The Independent that they have set up the archways to ensure foolproof security of the ministry. “So many visitors come to the ministry and we should take care of ourselves,” he said.

Sources in the home ministry said 230 policemen provide security at the Secretariat, the country’s administrative hub. Of these, 27 provide security to the home ministry round the clock.

This is the only ministry where visitors and even officials cannot enter without the red pass (entry pass only for the home ministry) or the identity card of staff members, according to sources.

Recently, the authorities have set up watchtowers inside the Secretariat to avoid any untoward incident in the light of the law and order situation. The Public Security Service Division has set up digital passes and scanners at all entry points of the Secretariat.

In addition, members of intelligence agencies monitor the activities of visitors, and sometimes even staff members, inside and outside the Secretariat.

According to the sources, the authorities are going to set up highly sensitive digital equipment, such as mail scanners, vehicle-scanning machines and explosive vapour detectors, at the Secretariat complex to check unauthorised vehicles.

Archways, metal detectors, mirror detectors, luggage scanners, walky-talky, intercom network and an internal computing networking system have also been installed at the complex.

The police, law enforcers belonging to other agencies, unauthorised visitors and their vehicles, cannot enter the Secretariat without a pass. Security agencies have asked the government to beef up security measures in and around the Secretariat, especially at the Eden Building (Bhaban-1), where the Prime Minister's Office is located.

During the BNP-led four-party alliance government, 400 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras had been installed on the Secretariat premises, and nine sub-control rooms and a central control room were set up to monitor security arrangements round-the-clock. However, most of the CCTV cameras are now defunct.

Unregulated movement of vehicles with tinted glasses in and out of the Secretariat complex has become a cause for worry. It is said that most of these vehicles belong to ruling party lawmakers.