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Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:18:01 PM
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First phase Bishwa Ijtema begins today

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Staff Reporter :
The three-day long first phase of the Biswa Ijtema will begin on the bank of Turag River in Tongi, adjacent to the capital Dhaka, today (Friday).
Devout Muslims have already started to congregate at the Ijtema maidan and this flow will continue till the concluding on Sunday, SM Tariqul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur, told The New Nation on Thursday. He said that they have taken fool-proof security measures for the devotees in and around the Ijtema ground.  
Thousands of participants who are coming from outside Dhaka are being stranded on the roads and highways, said Deputy Commissioner (Traffic) of Gazipur Metropolitan Police KM Ariful Haque.
The police official said that vehicular movement on the roads connecting to the ijtema ground has been instructed to follow convenient roads.
On the day of Akheri Munajat (final prayers) on Sunday, vehicular movement on roads connecting to ijtema ground will be restricted from 4:00am to 2:00pm, he said.
Ariful Haque said that the road from Tongi Bridge to Bogura highway, Tongi Station Road intersection to Mirer Bazar and Munnu Gate to Kamarpara would be closed during the time.
Many devotes have brought plastic sheet keeping the possible rainfall in mind. But the suffering of the participants may be intensified due to rain and severe cold wave, said Abul kashem, a devotee from Nilphamari district.
There is a severe jam at Chandina, Cherag Ali, Gazipura, Board Bazar and Tongi Bridge areas, he said.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal assured of strict security measures centering one of the largest congregations of Muslims, attended by devotees from home and abroad.
He said the law enforcers would be deployed on the Ijtema ground, its entry points and the adjacent areas.
LED lights have been installed to illuminate the whole of the Ijtema ground. Gazipur mayor Md Jahangir Alam is looking after the overall facilities.
The Mayor said that CCTV cameras around the Ijtema field have been activated with law enforcers deployed.
The second phase of Ijtema will be held on January 17-19, he added.
Acting Officer-in-Charge of Tongi East Police Kamal Hossain said that people have already started to arrive at the Ijtema venue since yesterday morning.
There is a pressure of vehicles on the highway. However, the police, highway police and thana police are working to ease the traffic situation, he added.
This religious event has been taking place every year on the bank of the Turag in Tongi since 1967.

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