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Home minister: No complications in Ijtema preparations

  • Published at 06:30 pm February 3rd, 2019
File photo of Muslim devotees during the final prayers of Bishwa Ijtema on the banks of Turag River at Tongi on January 2018 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Unlike the last few years, Tabligh Jamaat will jointly hold this year's Bishwa Ijtema in a single phase 

This year's Bishwa Ijtema, slated to begin from February 15, will be held without any complications, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has assured. 

"Bishwa Ijtema will be held in a fair and beautiful manner," he said at a press conference held at his Secretariat office on Sunday. "The problems between Tabligh Jamaat factions have been resolved. Preparations are now being made to hold the Ijtema."

He further said: "We have held discussions about all the critical matters with the Tabligh Jamaat, so that it can be held peacefully. There are disagreements regarding Tabligh Jamaat across the world, and it has influenced us as well."

With a view to further avert any complications, two senior representatives from the two Tabligh Jamaat factions held separate meetings with State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on Sunday afternoon at the Secretariat, Asaduzzaman said.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Abdullah said: "The two factions have been at loggerheads for long, but their disputes have been resolved. They have agreed to hold the Ijtema jointly, there is no dispute over that.

"Certain conditions were set by both the factions at the meeting," Abdullah added, “They will be finalized in another meeting soon.”

But the State Minister also added that no decision has been taken as to who will supervise the Ijtema, as well as leading the namaz and the subsequent prayers. 

Besides Abdullah, State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell, Mayor of Gazipur Municipality Jahangir Alam, Inspector General of Police Javed Patwary, Director General of RAB Benazir Ahmed, and other high officials were present at the meetings.

The factions previously met with ministry officials on January 23 to resolve their disputes, after which a general consensus was reached to hold the Ijtema jointly in a single phase from February 15 to 17. 

In the last few years, the Ijtema - the second largest Muslim congregation after Hajj - was organized in two phases, dividing attendees from northern and southern districts, for the sake of maintaining discipline due to the sheer numbers.

Before the announcement of the new date, the first phase of Bishwa Ijtema was scheduled to be held from January 11 to 13, while the second one from January 18 to 20, but the dates were postponed due to the general election on December 30.

During last year's congregation, clashes occurred between followers of Indian preacher Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and his rival Maulana Zubair, leaving one person dead and hundreds injured, upon which the government issued a directive to Tabligh Jamaat to resolve their internal disputes and be more organized. 

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