Dhaka: Tens of thousands of Muslims
from Bangladesh and abroad, on Friday congregated on the outskirts
of the capital for the second phase of a major Islamic
gathering organised by an Indian Jamaat.
Lakhs of devotes, including thousands from over 100
countries, joined the congregation in Tongi, some 24 km north
of Dhaka, for the second phase of the Biswa Ijtema that is
organised by the New Delhi-based Tablig Jamaat and believed to
the second largest after the Haj in Mecca.
President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
and Khaleda Zia, the chief of the main Opposition Bangladesh
nationalist Party (BNP), joined the congregation last Sunday
during the first phase when Indian Islamic scholar Moulana
Jobayerul Hasan led the 20-minute concluding prayers under
The Biswa Ijtema is held each year since 1967 to
revive the tenets of Islam and promote gloabal peace, the
Daily Star said.
For the first time since its inception in 1967, the
Ijtema is being held in two phases from Jan 21 to 23 and
from January 28 to 30 in a bid to accommodate the growing
number of devotees from around the world, the report said.
Akheri Munajat, the concluding prayer on Sunday, is
expected to witness the largest gathering of devotees.
A three-tier security system with some 18,000
policemen and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)
has been put in at the congregation site.
Bangladesh has been hosting the congregation organised
by Tablig Jamaat since early 1960s. Organizers said they
expected more than two million Muslims from across the world
to join the meet at the Ijtema ground, a five-square kilometre
area on the Turag.