More police than people at prayers in Sholakia | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

More police than people at prayers in Sholakia


The militant attack in Sholakia during Eid-ul-Fitr has led to more security but due to rain the turnout of the faithful was poor on Eid-ul-Azha.Rains and the lingering memory of the militant attack on Jul 7 kept many of the faithful from joining the prayers in Sholakia, considered to be the largest Eid congregation in Bangladesh.But security arrangements for the town were unusually heavy – perhaps because the law enforcers wanted to take no chances after the bomb and machete attack on a police checkpost.As a result, there were more police than people in Sholakia, where Maulana Fariduddin Masud, who could not conduct the congregation during Eid-ul-Fitr due to the militant attack, led the Eid-ul-Azha prayers.More than a thousand faithful, hands raised in prayer, prayed for the well being of the nation and humanity at Sholakia where more than 100,000 usually pray on Eid day.Usually, the Eid congregations in Sholakia end up with the crowd spilling over the field.But this time, only a few faithful formed rows against a backdrop of a huge deployment of security forces.Two trains, one from Mymensingh and another from Kishoreganj, operated as usual to carry the faithful to the historic ground.But there were far fewer passengers on these trains than in previous years.Officials said that security arrangements were heavy this time and lack of it did not deter the faithful.Rather, the heavy rains, they said, had played spoilsport.”Normally fewer numbers of people come to pray during Eid-ul-Azha and more come during Eid-ul-Fitr. This year, the rains have driven down numbers still further,” said Md Azimuddin Biswas, Kishoreganj deputy commissioner and president of Sholakia Eidgah Committee.Two policemen were killed in the militant attack on a police outpost in Sholakia on Eid-ul-Fitr.A Hindu housewife died in the shootout when a bullet pierced the wall of her hut and hit her in the head. An attacker was shot dead by police.That is why the law enforcers created a three-tier security ring around Sholakia this time, drafting in, for the first time, three platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and armed police units were also deployed in some strength.”After the attack on Eid-ul-Fitr, it was our priority to ensure a peaceful Eid-ul-Azha. That has been made possible,” said Kishoreganj district Superintendent of Police (SP) Md Anowar Hossain.


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