The first phase of three-day Biswa Ijtema, the second largest Muslim congregation after the Hajj, ended on the banks of the Turag River in Gazipur's Tongi today with Akheri Munajat seeking spiritual well-being and welfare of the Muslim Ummah.
Maulana Zubair Hassan, the imam of Kakrail Mosque in the capital and leader of a faction of Tabligh Jamaat, administered the munajat seeking world peace, forgiveness and divine blessings for mankind and the Muslim Ummah.
The Akheri Munajat began at 11:06am that continued for 40 minutes, our Gazipur correspondent reports from the spot.
Several million devotees, including foreigners from different countries, attended the Akheri Munajat on the Turag banks. The gathering spilled over to the adjacent roads and areas.
Many people joined the munajat from the roofs of vehicles and boats and rooftops of nearby buildings.
Before that, Mawlana Ziaul Haque and Mawlana Ibrahim Deola delivered a sermon on the importance of Islam based on the Quran and Hadith.
PM JOINS AKHERI MUNAJAT
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has joined the Akheri Munajat (final prayers) of the 55th Bishwa Ijtema from her official Gono Bhaban residence in Dhaka, according to BSS.
She was accompanied by her younger sister Sheikh Rehana.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and officials and employees of the Prime Minister’s Office and Gono Bhaban also took part in the munajat.
RESTRICTION OF TRANSPORT MOVEMENT
Due to the Akheri Munajat, the vehicle movements will remain suspended till 4:00pm today on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway from Turag Bridge to Bhogra bypass, on Kaliganj road from Mirer Bazar to Station road and from Munnu Gate to Kamarpara Bridge.
The authorities introduced 30 shuttle buses from Bhogra Bypass to Gazipur bus stand on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway for those who attended the Akheri Munajat.
SECURITY MEASURES FOR IJTEMA
To ensure security of the event, law enforcement agencies were taken up a multi-layered security measures.
Members of police, Rab and intelligence agencies were deployed in the adjacent areas.
Over 400 closed-circuit television cameras, 25 watch towers and 11 checkpoints were set up to monitor the area, police said.
The first phase of the Ijtema is mainly allocated for the followers of Maulana Zubair.
The second phase will be held from January 17 to 19. This phase is allocated for the followers of Indian preacher Maulana Saad Kandhalvi.
Tabligh Jamaat, a coalition of Muslim devotees, has been organising the event on the bank of Turag river, near Tongi upazila of Gazipur, every year since 1967.
In 2011, the organisers had split the congregation into two phases to deal with overcrowding, ensure better management and security.