Chittagong’s traditional Abdul Jabbar wrestling competition, popularly known as Jabbarer Boli Khela, is going to be held for the 109th time on April 25 at the historic venue of Laldighi Maidan.
Abdul Jabbar Smriti Kusti Pratijogita and Boishakhi Mela Committee organize the age-old wrestling competition and the fair every year on 12th Boishakh as per tradition.
Abdul Jabbar, a rich merchant of Chittagong introduced the wrestling competition in 1909 as part of organizing the youths of the country in the Anti-British Movement and since then the competition has been held every year.
Boli means wrestling in local dialect, and khela is sport. Anyone can participate in this competition- from youth to septuagenarian.
A huge number of spectators gather to watch the traditional wrestling competition every year.
Jahar Lal Hazari, local ward councillor and president of the wrestling competition committee said that they had taken all necessary preparation to make the occasion a success.
“The century-old historic wrestling competition and new Bengali year fair is held every year in the port city with much enthusiasm and cultural zeal,” Hazari said.
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Shawkat Anwar Badal, general secretary of the competition committee said that the wrestling competition is a heritage of Chittagong since every year millions of people assembled centring the competition.
“Last year, 150 wrestlers from different parts of the country registered for the competition and 100 wrestlers took part in it,” said Badal who is also grandson of Abdul Jabbar.
Like previous years, former city corporation ward councillor MA Malek will act as the referee of the wrestling competition.
Didar Boli clinched the title at the 108th edition of the traditional wrestling competition, defeating the previous year’s champion Shamshul Alam alias Shamshu Boli.