Law enforcement will take swift and strict action, he warns
The home minister has warned against any sort of incendiary statements during the Bishwa Ijtema, saying strict action will be taken against anyone making such remarks.
Speaking at a follow-up event for Bishwa Ijtema preparations at Tongi on Wednesday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said: “The government will not interfere in anything during the Ijtema. You will do everything and take all the decisions, and we will support you from the outside.
“But you need to keep your word.”
He warned that the law enforcement agencies were more efficient now and would be able to identify anyone spreading misinformation immediately.
“They will take strict action against anyone spreading misinformation about the Ijtema on Facebook or any other medium. Do not make any incendiary speeches on the Ijtema grounds,” Kamal said.
Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims after Hajj, held annually at Tongi near the capital, was thrown into uncertainty this year after two factions emerged in the Tabligh Jamaat, the religious group that organizes the event.
Their conflict reached a peak in December last year in a series of clashes over control of the venue.
The government intervened, with the home minister holding several meetings with the factions. Eventually the factions decided to take part in the event on separate days.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Abdullah said difficult challenges had been undertaken to ensure that the Ijtema is held properly this year. He urged everyone to ensure that the government’s image is not harmed during the event.
‘Visa will be given to all pilgrims’
The home minister assured the Ijtema organizers that visas will be issued to all foreigners attempting to attend the Ijtema.
“We will tell the high commissioner in India to issue visas to all persons applying for one, in accordance with the list given to us by the two factions,” he said.
“If there is a devotee coming from any country in the world, let us know and we will arrange for their visa,” he added.
Kamal said already the government had expedited the visas of one American devotee and another from an African nation.
Inspector General Javed Patwary said additional security measures had been taken for the Ijtema grounds this year.
“There are more CCTV cameras and more security personnel this year,” he said.