Dhaka: Bangladesh has withdrawn the “extra security escort” provided to top diplomats of India and three other countries, with foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen terming the service redundant, costly, and discriminatory.
Policemen equipped with riot gear used to escort in their vans the envoys of India, the United States, the UK, and Saudi Arabia during their movements in the city and an intensified security vigil for them was enforced following the July 1, 2016, Islamist militant attack in a posh Dhaka restaurant.
The attack killed 20 people — 17 foreigners including an Indian girl. Most of the other foreigners killed in the attack were however Japanese and Italians.
“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security protocol we were providing to ambassadors and high commissioners of some particular countries has been withdrawn.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,” a diplomatic security division official of Dhaka Metropolitan police said.
The official, who preferred anonymity, said 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 foreign minister said 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.
“We have decided not to provide additional security escort services to foreign ambassadors of any country,” the minister told the media at the sidelines of an event.