The annual Bishwa Ijtema of Tablig Jamaat—one of the worled’s largest congregations of muslim devotees—begins today on the bank of the river Turag in Tongi amid religious fervour and tight security measures taken by the authorities.
This will be the first of the two phases of prayers as the organisers for the first time decided to hold the annual congregation in two phases of three days each to accommodate the huge crowd it experiences every year.
The first akheri munajat—the prayer—of the first phase of the congregation is scheduled to be held on Sunday.
The second phase will begin from January 28 and end on January 30 when the second akheri munajat or prayer will be held.
This will be the 47th Bishwa Ijtema. Devotees from 33 districts will attend the first phase of Ijtema while devotees from the rest of districts will attend the second phase.
Thousands of devotes from around the country and different parts of the world have already reached the Ijtema ground while many others are their way to the Ijtema.
Officials said all preparations have been completed for holding the Ijtema.
Law enforcing agencies, local administration, various organizations and institutions have undertaken different measures to make the congregation a success.
A massive Pandal has been erected on an area of 165 acres of land on the bank of the Turag to accommodate the participants.
On Thursday, state minister for religious affairs Shajahan Mia visited the Ijtema ground to see the preparation. He also inaugurated free medical camps set up by Ibne Sina and Hamdard at the venue.
Police said at least 17,000 members of the law enforcing agencies and over 1,000 members of the Rapid Action Battalion were being deployed in and around the Ijtema venue to maintain law and order.
A total of 18 separate control rooms have been set up by district administration, police and RAB and 60 close circuit cameras installed at different points to ensure security of the Ijtema venue.
RAB director general Mokhlesur Rahman visited the venue on Thursday.
He said all necessary measures were taken to ensure security of the at the Ijtema venue.
Assistant police supper of Gazipur Md Mizanur Rahman said, ‘We have employed plainclothes police at the venue who will stay in each Khitta along with the devotees.‘ Organisers said over 10,000 foreign devotees from different counties already reached the venue to participate in the Ijtema.
The president, the prime minister and the leader of the opposition are expected to join the akheri munajat scheduled to be held on Sunday.