Thousands thronged the Biswa Ijtema ground on the banks of the Turag river in Gazipur's Tongi on Saturday to join the annual congregation of Muslims. -AA
The first phase of the 55th Bishwa Ijtema will end with the Akheri Munajat (final prayer) in the early morning today on the banks of the river Turag at Tongi.
Thousands of Muslim devotees from home and abroad have already gathered on the Ijtema ground to join the Akheri Munajat of the first phase amid intensified security measures.
On the second day of the first phase's Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the Muslim community after Hajj, Indian Islamic Scholar Mawlana Abdur Rahman delivered sermons on different aspects, including Imaan and Akhlaq, of Islam in the light of the holy Quran and Hadith on Saturday.
The Muslim devotees, including some 2,000 foreigners, have thronged the Ijtema ground ignoring the bad weather triggered by the chilling cold sweeping over the country.
On the occasion of Akheri Munajat, vehicular movements will remain suspended from 5:00am on Sunday on the Airport to Joydebpur intersection of the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway, Mirer Bazar to Tongi bus stop of the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway via Gazipur and Abdullahpur to Bypass of the Abdullahpur-Ashulia road.
However, special train services have been launched for the Akheri Munajat while all intercity express trains are giving stopover at the Tongi station for some time.Besides, about 8,500 members of different law enforcement agencies have been deployed for ensuring security in and around the Ijtema ground.
The death tolls of the devotees in the first phase of the Ijtema stood at nine so far as four more devotees died last night.The second phase of the Ijtema is scheduled to begin on January 17 at the same venue and it will end on January 19.
---Mahbub Alam, Gazipur, AA
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