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10 Jan 2020 | 05:47 AM UTC

Bangladesh: Heightened security during religious congregation January 10-19

Heightened security deployed in Dhaka, Tongi during the Bisma Itjem congregation January 10-19; crowded conditions and localized transportation disruptions expected

culture
security
transportation
BGD

Event

Hundreds of thousands of devotees are expected to participate in the Bishwa Itjema congregation, which will be held in two phases, from Friday, January 10, to Sunday, January 12, and from Friday, January 17, to Saturday, January 19. The gatherings will take place at the Itjema gound, on the banks of the Turag river.

Authorities have announced that heightened security measures, including checkpoints, watch towers, close circuit cameras, and deployment of additional security forces, have been implemented in Dhaka and Tongi. Restrictions of vehicular movement on roads around Ijtema are expected from 04:00 to 14:00 (local time) on Sunday, January 12.

A heightened security presence, transportation disruptions, and crowded conditions are expected in Dhaka and Tongi over the coming days. While celebrations are usually peaceful, the terrorist threat cannot be ruled out.

Context

The Bishwa Ijtema is the second largest Sunni gathering, and is organized yearly in the outskirts of Dhaka by the Bangladeshi branch of the Tablighi Jamaat, an orthodox Sunni movement.

Advice

As a precautionary measure, individuals present in Dhaka are advised to stay away from public gatherings, marches, and processions, and anticipate heightened security measures, crowded conditions and transportation disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.