The ijtema will be held in two phases from February 15-18
The 54th Bishwa Ijtema will start at the bank of the Turag River in Gazipur on Friday.
Bishwa Ijtema is the second largest gathering of Muslims around the world.
The ijtema will be held in two phases from February 15-18.
Maulana Zubair Hassan, who leads one of the factions, will supervise the first two days of the Ijtema, and Syed Wasiful Islam, who leads the other group that follows Indian preacher Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, will lead the last two days.
The Ijtema field is fully prepared to hold the two separate programs. The local MP and State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell along with top level police officials, senior members of the Tabligh Jamaat has visited the ground and told reporters that all necessary preparations have been completed to hold the program.
A couple of hundred thousand Muslim devotees from all 64 districts of the country started gathering at the Ijtema venue from Thursday morning along with Muslims from all over the world are taking part in the Ijtema.
The "a'm bayan" (general sermons) of the first phase started from Thursday evening instead of Friday morning. Maulana Ahmed Laat of India gave the sermon and the Maulana Omar Faruk from Bangladesh read the translated version in Bangla.
The first phase of the Ijtema will end between 10am-11am on February 16 through the Akheri Munajat.
From February 17, after Fazr prayers, followers of Maulana Saad will start their phase of the Ijtema program which will end on February 18 (Monday) through the second Akheri Munajat.
Though there are disputes between the followers of the two scholars, the general people, members of the administration and locals want a peaceful Ijtema congregation.
Security measures beefed up
An eight-layer security measure has been taken for the event with the deployment of huge members of different law enforcement agencies in and around the Ijtema ground. The venue has been brought under CCTV surveillance.
There will be special train and bus services to ease the communication of the devotees.
Gazipur Metropolitan Police Commissioner (GMP) YM Belalur Rahman on Thursday said the Ijtema ground is under CCTV surveillance and watchtowers have been set up to ensure security.
Members of law enforcement agencies are performing their duties while intelligence surveillance has been beefed up. "Though there's no specific threat, we've taken right security measures considering all aspects," he said.
Check-posts have been set up in lanes, intersections and all the entries to the ground, said the GMP commissioner.
Besides, free medical camps have been set up near the Ijtema ground to provide free health care services and medicines among the devotees.
Tabligh Jamaat has been organising the Ijtema at the venue since 1967. However, the Ijtema is held in two phases since 2011 to ease the accommodation and transportation problem.