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10 Feb 2019 | 01:20 AM UTC

Bangladesh: Bishwa Ijtema Festival near Dhaka February 15-18

The annual Bishwa Ijtema gathering of Muslim devotees in Tongi along the River Turag (near Dhaka) will take place February 15-18

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security
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Event

The first phase of the Bishwa Ijtema (World Muslims' Congregation), the second largest gathering of Muslims after Hajj, will be held from Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18. It will take place by the banks of the River Turag in Tongi, approximately 3 km (2 mi) north of Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC). Crowded conditions, particularly at Dhaka’s airport, are expected during the festival. Additional security personnel have also been deployed around Tongi.

Context

One of the largest peaceful gatherings in the world, the Bishwa Ijtema is an annual gathering of Muslims in Tongi. The gathering is spread over three days during which attending devotees perform prayers while listening to scholars reciting and explaining verses from the Quran. This year, the government decided to extend the first phase by an extra day to allow different factions to supervise the festival. It was originally scheduled to be held on January 11-13 and January 18-20, but was postponed due to the December 30 national election.

Advice

Individuals in Dhaka around February 15-18 are advised to anticipate crowded conditions, an increase in criminal activities (petty crime), as well as significant disruptions to daily life, including transportation, accommodation, and business disruptions. Adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.

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