First phase of Ijtema ends
The first phase of Biswa Ijtema, one of the largest congregations of Muslims, ended yesterday with Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers).
Devotees, who joined the religious gathering on the banks of Turag in Tongi from home and abroad, sought forgiveness and blessings from the Almighty for Muslims around the world.
Maulana Hafez Zobair Ahmad, leader of Bangladesh Tabligh Jamaat and head imam of Kakrail Jame Masjid in Dhaka, conducted the 24-minute munajat that began at 10:42am.
The second phase of the Ijtema will begin on February 9 at the same venue and will conclude with Akheri Munajat on February 11.
The gathering of devotees of all ages spilled onto roads and areas around the Ijtema venue as Akheri Munajat started.
People who could not reach the venue joined the prayers at home, office or other places through phones and other electronic devices.
Many devotees had to walk miles to reach near the venue while many others stopped on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway.
As part of the rationalised traffic system centring the final prayers, movement of vehicles remained suspended from Tongi-Kamarpara road on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, from Tongi to Bhogra Bypass in Gazipur and from Abdullahpur to Ashulia-Bypile from Saturday midnight.
Meanwhile, two people were killed and seven others injured as a lorry hit a battery-run auto-rickshaw that was carrying devotees to the Ijtema ground in the morning.
The deceased were Jony, 17, of Narsingdi's Shibpur, and Sohel, 37, of the same area.
Nureza Akhtar, sub-inspector of Tongi Police Station, told our Gazipur correspondent that with the devotees, a microbus started for Tongi from Shibpur early yesterday.
When it reached Mirer Bazar in Pubail, it got stuck in traffic and the passengers got down from the vehicle and hired the auto-rickshaw to go to the Ijtema ground, the SI said.
The lorry hit the auto-rickshaw around 6:30am near Mirer Bazar area, leaving Jony and Sohel dead on the spot, the SI added.