Law enforcers will set a five-layer checking system in and around the Biswa Ijtema premises at Tongi in Gazipur district for peaceful holding of the second largest congregation of the Muslim community beginning on the bank of the Turag from January 24. The Ijtema is being held in two phases for the last few years to avoid limitless overcrowding. The second phase will begin from January 31 at the same venue. About 22,000 strong forces comprising members from Police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Armed Police Battalion and Ansar will be deployed during the Ijtema. As for the security, the devotees will be cheeked at five points. There will be patrolling on roads and waterways while choppers will hover to ward off any subversive activities. Biswa Ijtema Coordinator and Gazipur’s Deputy Commissioner Nurul Islam told The New Nation that additional security measures had been taken this time, keeping some recent incidents of sabotage across the country. State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan said that a large number of forces from various law-enforcing agencies will be deployed at Tongi to ensure the foolproof security of the devotees at the Ijtema this year compared with that of the previous year. Adequate numbers of RAB, Police, BGB and Ansar personnel will patrol the Ijtema venue round the clock before and after the congregation, Asaduzzaman said adding that the law enforcers will keep a strong vigil to fend off any unpleasant incident. Sources at the Home Ministry said the law-enforcing agencies, including the intelligence units, have been directed to keep sharp watch on foreign participants. Securities have been tightened because of the on-going war crimes trial, the sources added. Besides the security beef-up, different government agencies are also working to ensure proper transportation, sanitation, fire safety measures, water supply, electricity supply and health services for the Ijtema devotees, said DC Nurul Islam. Special arrangements will be made for the transportation and accommodation of the foreign participants, he said, adding that the number of foreign participants is likely to increase this year. About 30,000 foreigners came to Bangladesh last year, he recalled. “The number of toilet and wash facilities has been increased compared to the ones last year. About 4,000 toilets are being set up. We’ll also provide about 70 lakh gallons of water,” he said. Nurul Islam also noted that additional transports would be arranged on the day of the Akheri Munajat (ending prayers). “We are expecting more than 50 lakh participants in this year’s Ijtema. Large number of the participants will be seen on the day of Akheri Munajat at the end of both the phases,” he said. “There will be enough facilities for rest and sleeping. At least five lakh participants can sleep at the Ijtema ground at a time,” he added. Sources at the Communications Ministry told the reporter that some 300 BRTC buses, including double-decker ones, would be there to facilitate the movement of the devotees of Biswa Ijtema. The buses will be available in various areas of the capital such as Saidabad, Gulistan, Gabtoli, Mohakhali, Joydevpur, Farmgate and Kamalapur, and in districts like Narsingdi, Narayanganj, Comilla, Brahmanbaria, Kishoreganj, Netrakona and Laxmipur. Bangladesh Railway has also arranged additional trains and shuttle trains on various Dhaka-Tongi, Dhaka-Narayanganj and Dhaka-Gazipur sections.