Bangladesh bans vuvuzela from Bengali New Year procession

Dhaka, April 3 (IANS) Bangladesh has banned the vuvuzela, the popular but noisy South African horns, from the country’s most colourful procession, the Mangal Shobha Jatra, in the capital Dhaka.

Hundreds of thousands of people, irrespective of caste, colour, sex and religion, are expected to join the procession as part of celebrating the Bengali New Year, which falls on April 14, Xinhua reported.

They usually carry large symbolic figures of fishes, horses, tigers and elephants, all made from bamboo, and play Bangladeshi musical instruments during the shobha jatra, a colourful parade seeking welfare of all.

After meeting the law enforcers on Sunday morning, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that vuvuzela, masks, matches and lighters have been banned at this year’s jatra.

Sources said that the South African horns, which were brought to Bangladesh after the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and their loud, overpowering noise in the recent years deterred usual chanting that accompanies the main Bengali New Year procession.

Sources said the authorities have taken various measures to ensure peaceful New Year celebrations in the wake of last year’s most unpleasant incident.

The joyous celebration of the Bengali New Year was marred by a mass sexual assault against a group of women on the campus of Dhaka University last year.

Some 30 to 40 rowdy youths sexually harassed around 20 women at the gate of Dhaka’s lush green Suhrawardy Udyan Park as they were returning home after celebrating the New Year.

The incident caused a massive show of indignation and anger throughout the county. A barrage of protests and calls for the government to bring about justice for the victims were posted on social media.

Security will be tightened in Dhaka on the occasion of the Bengali New Year, and strict safety measures will also be taken to prevent any disturbance of the festivities, the authorities said.

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