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Bid to keep off oppn men: Police direct hoteliers to collect customer info

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POLICE  have asked hotel, motel and mess owners of Dhaka city to collect names, addresses and photos of customers before renting out rooms to them.

The directive came last week to maintain law and order during the current week which is going to see three major events – start of Asia Cup on Sunday, BNP’s mass rally on Monday and 14-party’s rally on Wednesday, Monirul Islam, deputy commissioner of Detective Branch of police, informed reporters on Saturday.

Top officials of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) sat at Rajarbagh Police Lines on Saturday to discuss security arrangements for the week. Police officers from the ranks of officers-in-charge to that of DMP commissioner attended the meeting.

Briefing reporters on the discussion, Monirul Islam, spokesman of the DMP commissioner, said they have sought customers’ information to ward off any security threat.

“We’ve asked the owners of hotels, motels and messes to send updated lists of customers to the DMP every evening,” he said.

As per law, hotel owners are obligated to share customers’ information to the DMP. “We’ve just reminded them of it,” he added.

The revelation came amid allegations by the opposition leaders that, at the behest of police, many owners of hotel, motel and mess in the capital have stopped renting out their rooms ahead of the opposition-sponsored grand rally on March 12.

Police however denied the allegation and said they have not prohibited anyone from renting out their rooms.

“If hoteliers do this, they do this on their own. Law enforcers have nothing to do in this regard,” said Monirul Islam.

Asked whether they apprehend any subversive activities during the March 12 rally, he said police were not ruling out such possibilities.

“It happened on previous occasions,” Monirul said referring to the December 18 violence when a series of crude homemade bombs went off in central Dhaka as hundreds of activists of BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami clashed with police, smashed more than a dozen vehicles and set some of those on fire.


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