- Title: Millions gather in Bangladesh for annual Islamic gathering
- Date: 15th January 2017
- Summary: TONGI, BANGLADESH (JANUARY 15, 2017) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING ALONG STREETS NEAR BISWA IJTEMA GATHERING PEOPLE MOVING TOWARDS BANK OF THE RIVER TURAG VARIOUS OF ATTENDEES SITTING STATIONARY FERRIES ON RIVER TURAG VARIOUS OF ATTENDEES ARRIVING ON ENGINE BOATS PEOPLE WALKING VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN KEEPING WATCH (SOUNDBITE) (Bengali) BISHWA IJTEMA ATTENDEE, MONIRUZZAMAN, SAYING: "The ijtema that is taking place in our country is the second biggest Islamic Congregation after the Holy Haj. So we have come here to join with thousands to pray to God so that he forgives our sins, we all will pray for the peace of our country and all Islamic nations." PEOPLE GATHERED AS CARS DRIVE PAST PEOPLE SITTING / RAISING THEIR HANDS IN PRAYER VARIOUS OF MEN AND WOMEN PRAYING OVERCROWDED TRAIN CARRYING ATTENDEES AFTER PRAYER SESSION VARIOUS OF OVERCROWDED TRAINS LEAVING DHAKA AIRPORT RAILWAY STATION / PEOPLE WAVING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE RETURNING HOME IN VEHICLES AND BY FOOT AFTER GATHERING HAS ENDED
- Embargoed: 29th January 2017 11:07
- Keywords: Muslims Islam Bangladesh Tongi Biswa Ijtema
- Location: TONGI, BANGLADESH
- City: TONGI, BANGLADESH
- Country: Bangladesh
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Z6XBV9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of Muslims congregated at the Turag River for final prayers as part of the largest annual Muslim congregation in South Asia on Sunday (January 15).
The Bishwa Ijtema (world congregation) has been held at the same site since 1966, and is organised by World Tablig Council, which preaches the teachings of Islam and Prophet Mohammed.
Lawmakers, political leaders and senior officials joined the concluding prayer known as the 'Akheri Munajat'.
The faithful travel from the Middle East, India, Pakistan, the United States, Russia and Europe to take part.
Around three million people are estimated to have gathered on the final day of the gathering, according to organisers.
''We have come here to join with thousands to pray to God so that he forgives our sins, we all will pray for the peace of our country and all Islamic nations,'' said attendee, Moniruzzaman.
The Turag was bustling with boats and the streets with devotees, eager to reach the event in good time.
They gathered in alleys and roads taking position wherever they could to raise their hands in prayer.
Over 6,000 police personnel have been deployed in and around the event grounds to ensure security, according to local media reports.
The gathering takes place in two phases with the first phase having taken place on Friday 9 (January 13).
The event has been split since 2011 to help accommodate travellers who come from far and wide, said officials.
The first ever congregation first took place at the Kakrail mosque in Bangladesh in 1946.
The event focuses on prayers and meditation and does not allow political discussion, organisers said.
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