Thousands seek peace as Bishwa Ijtema beginsOur Correspondent . Gazipur
Thousands of Muslims sought peace and revival of Islamic tenets as the joined Bishwa Ijtema that began by the bank of the River Turag on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka on Friday.
Devotees streamed into the venue, braving the biting cold, at dawn as the congregation began with the sermon by Pakistani Maulana Tarek Jamil after the fajr prayers.
Devotees from far-flung villages and towns and from across the world started gathering on the ground on Thursday.
The Ijtema ground swarmed with people at the time of Friday congregational prayers that began about 1:45pm.
Movement of vehicle stopped when the devotees sat down on the Dhaka–Mymensingh Highway to say jumma prayers. Maulana Zobair Hasan of the Kakrail mosque conducted the prayers.
Maulana Tarek Jamil of Pakistan delivered sermon after the fajr prayers. Devotees sitting under a huge jute awning listened to sermons, interpreted into 16 languages such as Bengali, English, Arabic, Tamil, Malay, Turkish and French.
Muhammad Hossain of Bangladesh delivered sermons after the jumma prayers, Maulana Jobayrul Hasan of India after the asr prayers and Maulana Sa’ad of India after the maghrib prayers.
Ijtema organisers said that about 7,000 foreigners joined the congregation and more were expected to join in the next two days.
Programmes such as collective wedding without dowry and the enrolment of names for 40-day preaching tours will be held today.
Police control room sources said the lawmen had captured 19 hawkers at the venue till Friday.
Tongi Hospital officials said that till Friday about 2,000 devotees had been given treatment. Of them 20 were admitted to the hospital and six were sent to other hospitals as their condition deteriorated.
Mobile courts fined hotels and restaurants at the venue Tk 1.38 lakh and filed 23 cases.
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