Thousands mass defying government to pray for coronavirus prevention in Bangladesh

When countries are locking down, thousands of people have gathered in Lakshmipur for special prayer session to prevent coronavirus outbreak despite the government’s directive to avoid mass gatherings.

Published : 19 March 2020, 02:13 PM
Updated : 19 March 2020, 02:13 PM

The special prayer session ‘Khatme Shifa’ took place following the Fazr or early morning prayer on Wednesday at Haiderganj Aheria Rachimuddin Central Eidgah premises in Raipur Upazila.

Haiderganj Sayed Manzil organised the special prayer while Andarkilla Shahi Jam-e- Mosque Khatib Syed Md Anwar Hossain Taher Al Zabiri  Al Madani it.

During the prayer, the devotees sought the protection of the people around the world from the coronavirus pandemic.

No permission was taken from the authorities to hold the event, the district administration said.

Many countries around the world have closed their borders and shut down cities to prevent the coronavirus outbreak that spread over more than 174 countries. People are even slapped with fine if they leave their homes without any emergency.

Saudi Arabia has stopped congregation in mosques apart from the two major mosques in Makkah and Madina to avoid the crowd. Kuwait opted for the same measure. They requested everyone to offer their prayer at home.

The government ordered the people to avoid mass gathering after Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus case on Mar 8.

Health Minister Zahid Malik urged postponement of Waz Mahfil and any religious gatherings across the country after more coronavirus cases were reported.

“We haven’t issued any permission to hold such an event. We don’t know how they did it. We have directed the Raipur Upazila Nirbahi Officer to issue a show cause notice to the organisers,” said Lakshmipur Deputy Commissioner Anjan Chandra Pal.

They were ‘unaware’ of the issue, Lakshmipur Police Superintendent AH Kamruzzaman said.

“And this wasn’t a congregation. People just took part in the Munajat following the Fazr prayers,” he said.

People from different Upazilas streamed in before the Fazr prayers, witnesses said. The entire Eidgah premises was filled with people by sunrise. They all prayed together.

The ‘Khatme Shifa’ was held from Fazr prayers to 7am, said Inspector Belayet Hossain of the local police outpost. Police were unaware of the event beforehand, he said.

Raipur Police Station OC Tota Mia reiterated the same. could not contact mosque committee General Secretary Syed Taher Zabiri after repeated attempt.