The extra security escort included policemen equipped with riot gear used in their vans for the envoys of India during their movements in the city and an intensified security vigil for them. NEW DELHI: Less than a week after external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s visit, Bangladesh has withdrawn the “extra security escort” provided to top diplomats of India the UK, the US and Saudi Arabia. Bangladesh’s foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday termed the service redundant, costly, and discriminatory. The extra security escort included policemen equipped with riot gear used in their vans for the envoys of India during their movements in the city and an intensified security vigil for them.
The extra security was enforced following the July 1, 2016 Islamist militant attack in a posh Dhaka restaurant which killed 20 people. The victims included an Indian girl and 16 other foreigners. The other foreigners killed included Japanese and Italian nationals. “The additional security protocol we were providing to ambassadors and high commissioners of some particular countries has been withdrawn. But the normal security measures for them are in place,” according to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
However, the police gunmen will continue to accompany the envoys during their movements and the personnel from the designated police unit guarding the chancery complexes and residences of senior diplomats will also remain as usual. The Ministry of External Affairs refrained from making any comments on this issue.
The foreign minister said that the existing law and order no longer required additional security measures for a few envoys and the decision to withdraw the extra protocols was taken as several embassies other than the four were demanding identical security rituals. Interestingly, not long back when the Indian ambassador to Bangladesh Pranay K Verma had gone to call on Minister Momen when he assumed charge in Dhaka, Momen had said that India’s relation with Dhaka was ‘solid and unique.’
“India is a significant and most important neighbour,” Momen had said. Meanwhile, the Public Diplomacy Section of the US embassy here in a statement said: “The safety and security of our diplomatic personnel and facilities are of the utmost importance. In accordance with longstanding policy, we do not disclose security details concerning the US Embassy. As per the Vienna Convention, the host country must uphold its obligations to ensure the protection of all diplomatic missions and personnel.” (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)