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Coronavirus: 111th Jabbarer Boli Khela postponed

  • Published at 01:20 am April 8th, 2020
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File photo of a match between two participants in traditional 'Abdul Jabbarer Boli Khela' Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The decision to postpone the completion was taken at a meeting on Sunday

For the first time in history, the traditional Abdul Jabbar Wrestling Competition, popularly known as Abdul Jabbarer Boli Khela has been postponed due to the coronavirus situation in the country.

By the Bangla calendar, the 111th Abdul Jabbar wrestling competition was scheduled to be held at the historic permanent venue of Laldighi Maidan on the 12th day of Boishakh (April 25).

Confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune, Jahar Lal Hazari, president of the wrestling competition organizing committee said the decision to postpone the completion was taken at a meeting on Sunday.

“The government has decided to suspend Pahela Baishakh celebrations amid the growing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Complying with the government decision, we have decided to postpone the historic event,” said Hazari, also the local ward councilor.  

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Shawkat Anwar Badal, general secretary of the competition committee, said the sporting event has been postponed for the first time in history.

“The wrestling competition was not halted even during World War I, World War II, and the Liberation War in 1971. The wrestling competition is a heritage of Chittagong. However, we have decided to postpone the event as a huge number of spectators gather to watch the traditional wrestling competition every year,” said Badal, also the grandson of Abdul Jabbar who introduced the sporting event.

Boli means wrestling in the local dialect, and khela is sport. The competition has no age limit and anyone can participate in this competition, from youth to septuagenarian.

Abdul Jabbar, a rich merchant from Chittagong, started the competition in 1909 to encourage youths to take part in the anti-British movement.Since then the competition has gained popularity over the years, particularly among locals.

Abdul Jabbar Smriti Kusti Pratijogita and the Boishakhi Mela Committee organise the century old wrestling competition and a three day fair every year, in keeping with tradition.

A three day long Boishakhi Mela is also held on the occasion of the wrestling competition.

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