2nd phase of Biswa Ijtema begins today
The second phase of Biswa Ijtema, the largest Muslim congregation after Hajj, begins today on the bank of Turag in Tongi with the participation of lakhs of devotees from home and abroad.
Tens of thousands of devotees with winter clothes, blankets and cooking utensils, have already gathered at the Ijtema venue to seek divine blessing of Allah.
Devotees from 32 districts will join the second phase, which will conclude on January 22 after Akheri Munajat. The first phase of the Ijtema began on January 13 and concluded on January 15.
The Tablig-e-Jamaat has been organising the event since 1946, which was first held at Kakrail Mosque. Due to increasing number of devotees, the venue was later changed to present Haji camp at Ashkona in 1948 and then to Shidhirganj in 1958. In 1966, the present venue at Tongi was chosen to hold the Ijtema.
The Ijtema features sermons on fundamental issues of Tablig, prayer for spiritual emancipation, exaltation and welfare of the Muslim community.
Preparations for smooth holding of the Ijtema are almost complete with thousands of volunteers working round the clock to ready the 160-acre venue for accommodating the devotees.
Multi-tier security measures have been taken in and around the ground to avert any unpleasant incident, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police sources.
Helicopters, speedboats and pick-up vans will keep scanning the area during the Ijtema. Fire Brigade cars and ambulances are put on standby for any emergency, said DMP sources.
They said around 10,000 security personnel from different agencies will be posted to maintain law and order.
Like the first phase, law enforcement agencies have set up 11 watchtowers and check posts at every entrance, while several CCTVs have been installed across the venue to monitor the Ijtema ground.
Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation and Bangladesh Railway have arranged special bus and train services on the occasion to facilitate the movement of devotees.