Two women died of suffocation when thousands of destitute people crowded in front of a house to receive zakat (give away) cloths in Manikganj town early today.
At least 10 other people also became sick during the incident and were whisked off to Manikganj Sadar Hospital, reports our Manikganj correspondent.
The deceased are Jamila Khatun, 55, wife of Ayen Uddin of Baroil village; and Saleha Begum, 50, of Purba Dasura village; in Sadar upazila.
Shah Alam, second-officer of Manikganj Police Station, said Syed Mahbub Morshed Runu, a brother-in-law of Bashundhura Group Chairman Shah Alam, announced to distribute zakat cloths among the destitute people at his house after Sehri on Thursday.
Runu is also an adviser to Shah Alam, the police officer said.
Following the announcement, 8,000 to 10,000 distressed people from different parts of the area thronged in front of the house on Girl School Road early today, the police officer said.
At one stage, several people became sick from suffocation, he added.
Among the sick persons, 12 were taken to the Manikganj Sadar Hospital around 3:30am where doctors declared Jamila and Saleha dead after half an hour, Alam added.