Around three lakh people were gathered at the 188th Eid ul-Fitr congregation at the Sholakia Eidgah near Kishoreganj, Bangladesh amid tight security measures today, when the explosion occurred, killing two and injuring at least 12, according to latest reports.
The Sholakia Eidgah hosts the largest congregation of Eid prayers held on Eid ul-Fitr after the Ramadan month of fasting.
*Eidgah or Idgah in Urdu, the word used for an open-air public space outside a city where people gather to offer Eid prayers, is not used as a mosque at other times of the year, but only for Eid al-Adha, and at the end of the holy month of Ramadan to offer prayers for Eid ul-Fitr.
*The Sholakia Eidgah is on the banks of the river Narosunda and covers a wide expanse of seven acres that can hold 260 rows of 500 people each, or about 1,30,000 people, according to the Daily Sun. Today, there were about three lakh people, local media reported.
*The Eidgah has 28 entry gates that let devotees file in to form rows for Eid prayers, says the Dhaka Tribune.
*The first Eid assembly in Sholakia was held in 1828, organised by Peer Syed Ahmed, an Islamic leader from Kishoreganj, where 125,000 devotees were said to have said their prayers. Syed Ahmed’s father, Syed Ibrahim, had come to India from what is Saudi Arabia today, through Yemen, according to the Dhaka Tribune.
*Four lakh people gather there every year from across the country to offer prayers on Eid, this year there were about three lakh devotees, including those who were offering prayers in the nearby streets, open spaces and courtyards of the houses surrounding the Eidgah.
*Two special train services left Mymensingh and Bhairab for Sholakia at dawn this morning for devotees to commute easily and join the Eid congregation, reported the Dhaka Tribune.