First phase of Biswa Ijtema begins Friday

Biswa Ijtema
File photo

The first phase of three-day 'Biswa Ijtema', billed as the second largest congregation of Muslims after Hajj, is set to begin Friday morning on the bank of the Turag river in Tongi of the district, reports UNB.

The authorities concerned have completed the necessary preparations to hold the gathering smoothly.

A good number of foreign devotees from different parts of the world along with local ones have thronged the Ijtema venue to join Ijtema.

President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in separate messages greeted the Muslim devotees on this occasion.

The government set up health camps for the devotees to provide them treatment like the previous years.

However, two devotees died of cold-related disease at the venue on Thursday.

State minister for youth and sports Zahid Ahsan Russell inaugurated a private health camp for the devotees today.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chowdhuury Abdullah Al Mamun visited the Ijtema ground today and said that they have taken strict security measures for the devotees.

Apart from this, special security measures have been taken for the foreign devotees who are coming from Dhaka airport to the Ijtema venue, he said.

Gazipur Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mollah Nazrul Islam said as part of the security measures, watch towers and CCTV cameras were set up in and around the venue.

Besides, members of intelligence in plainclothes will remain deployed here to ensure security, he said.

The Ijtema was not held in the two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first phase Biswa Ijtema will end on Sunday through Akheri Munajat (final prayer).

Tabligh Jamaat has been organising the congregation at the venue since 1967. In 2011, Tabligh split the Ijtema into two phases, dividing the participation of the people of 64 districts, to reduce pressure on the venue and ensure better management.

The second phase of the Ijtema will be held from 20 to 22 January this year.

A 22km long tailback created stretching from Tongi Bridge to Moghbazar in the city on Thursday due to the huge pressure of Ijtema-bound vehicles in Tongi.

The gridlock stretched from Tongi Bridge-Abdullahpur-Airport to Mohakhali-Moghbazar areas of Dhaka resulting in sufferings for commuters.