The residents of Dhaka’s Mohammadpur and its adjoining areas today suffered due to severe traffic gridlock following a rally arranged by a faction of Tablig Jamaat and followers of Hefajat-e Islam.
Traffic movement was interrupted on Taj Mahal road, Noor Jahan Road, Town Hall, Mohammadpur bus stand and the adjacent areas due to the rally, our staff correspondent from the spot.
Over 20,000 leaders and activists of both the Islamic groups took part in the programme held at an Eidgah ground adjacent to Taj Mahal road in Mohammadpur. The rally began at 10:00am and ended around 1:00pm.
Hefajat-e Islam Chief Shah Ahmed Shafi, also the chairman of Qawmi Madrasa Education Board, was present at the rally.
Earlier this morning, thousands of followers of a faction of Tablig Jamaat and Hefajat-e Islam, who are against the Tablig Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, reached Dhaka.
During the rally, many of them took shelter in different mosques of Mohammadpur area. Many were seen inside and in front of shops disrupting business in the area.
Loudspeakers were connected to the mosques from the main venue. Many loudspeakers were also set up at every alley and intersection and on different roads, witnesses said.
Students and office goers suffered the most. Many of them were seen walking on foot due to lack of transports in the area.
A resident of Mohammadpur area told the Daily Star that she suffered as she faced traffic gridlocks in the locality on her way to workplace in the city's Farmgate area as the Tablig and Hefajat men blocked many roads so that their leaders and activists can reach at the rally venue easily.
Today’s rain made the situation even worse, she added.
During the programme, the Tablig Jammat leaders took six decisions, including to disobey any decision taken by Maulana Saad Kandhalvi.
They will not let Maulana Saad preach any sermon in Bangladesh, the leaders said.
Contacted, Biplab Kumar Sarkar, deputy commissioner (Tejgaon Zone) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), told The Daily Star that the organisers of the programme sought verbal permission from police to hold the rally but did not submit any written application in this regard.
Replying to a question regarding the sufferings of people due to the rally, the police official said as it was a huge gathering, problem has been created.
The conflict between the two factions of Tablig Jamaat began during the Biswa Ijtema this year, the second largest Muslim congregation after the Hajj.
Hefajat-e Islam first tried to prevent Saad's arrival because they strongly opposed to his participation in the Ijtema over allegations that Saad had made “controversial statements about the Quran and Sunnah”.
Finally, the top leader of the Tablig Jamaat Maulana Saad, who had been conducting the Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) for the last three years, had to return to New Delhi without joining this year's Biswa Ijtema.
Earlier, the two groups clashed at least four times, centring on Saad's speech. The home minister mediated between the two factions.