The second and last phase of this year’s Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims worldwide after Hajj, will start from Friday morning on the banks of the Turag River in Tongi.
Thousands of devotees from 14 districts of Bangladesh and many others from abroad have already started thronging to the venue, which falls under the Gazipur City Corporation, to attend the annual three-day religious event.
Organizers Tabligh Jamaat and the Gazipur District Administration have divided the entire Ijtema premises into 28 zones, with the purpose of providing a hassle free environment for devotees.
Foreigners have been allocated the north-western corner of the venue, where law enforcement officials have implemented the highest security measures.
Zahid Ahsan Rasel, lawmaker from Gazipur-2 constituency, said they will try their best to make the closing spell as successful as the opening phase.
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Deputy Commissioner Dr Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir echoed the MP’s sentiment, saying: “We have taken extensive preparation to succeed in this year’s last phase of Ijtema. Security has been beefed up on and around the Ijtema premises.”
According to Gazipur Superintendent of Police Harun Ur Rashid, about 7,000 policemen, both in uniform and plain clothes, will be deployed during the event, with a seven-tier security arrangement in place.
In addition, around 50 CCTV cameras have already been installed to monitor the Ijtema ground and its adjoining areas.
The Ijtema premises has also been cleared of beggars and hawkers, to facilitate smooth entry and exit for devotees.
This year’s Bishwa Ijtema, the 53rd edition of the event, will end with the Akheri Munajat, or final prayers, to be offered on Sunday.
Earlier, the first and opening phase of Bishwa Ijtema ended on the Turag bank with the Akheri Munajat on January 14.