The second phase of Biswa Ijtema, the largest Muslim congregation after the Hajj, began today on the bank of the Turag river at Tongi in Gazipur.
The three-day second phase started four days after the first phase of the Biswa Ijtema ended on January 10.
A large number of devotees thronged the 160-acre Ijtema ground to attend this phase scheduled to end on Sunday with Akheri Munajat, seeking spiritual well-being and welfare of the Muslim Ummah.
Thousands of Muslims are expected to offer the Juma prayer at the venue today.
Engineer Giasuddin, one of the members of the Ijtema organising committee, said volunteers, dividing into 10 to 12 groups, and workers of Gazipur City Corporation are taking part in the cleaning activities on the Ijtema ground.
This year for the first time the congregation is being held in four phases to deal with the huge crowd and lack of accommodation for the devotees.
People from 33 districts, including Dhaka, are taking part in the first two phases this year, while those from the remaining 32 districts, also including Dhaka, will participate in the other two phases next year.
Foreigners can join the congregation anytime.
Devotees from 17 districts have joined this year's first phase on January 8-10. The second part is for the ones from 16 districts -- Jhenidah, Jamalpur, Faridpur, Netrokona, Narsingdi, Comilla, Kurigram, Rajshahi, Feni, Thakurgaon, Sunamganj, Bogra, Khulna, Chuadanga, Pirojpur and Dhaka.
Tablighi Jamaat has been organising Biswa Ijtema, also called the World Muslims' Congregation, every year since 1946. In 2011, the organisers had split the congregation into two phases to deal with overcrowding, ensure better management and security.